BOTH sets of followers would have been looking to see what was different from last season. In these two cases, read different as better!
Andy Scott - eight signings so far - is overseeing sweeping changes with the Millers. Certainly intent on change for the better after the disastrous second half of last season.
Gary Megson - four signings so far and keen to get to eight - is determined that the Owls be a force in League One this time.
Keen interest for the followers centred on newcomers. Rotherham started this time with six... goalkeeper Conrad Logan, Troy Brown in centre defence, Luke Foster in midfield, Danny Schofield and Ben Pringle the wide midfielders and Chris Holroyd up front. Tag on Jeff Smith, ‘on trial’ and at left back.
Wednesday had Julian Bennett at left back, Rob Jones in centre defence; David Prutton and Jose Semedo in central midfield.
It was Wednesday who made the early running. Logan was decisive with his punch from a Buxton centre before ex-Millers favourite Chris Sedgwick showed smart skill and an angled shot was deflected wide.
Next Jermaine Johnson, taking on Marshall who was at right back, cut in and thrashed a fierce effort over.
Wednesday’s welter of possession gave Rotherham a workout on their defensive techniques from front to back.
When Madine pounced on a loose ball inside the area, the Millers threw bodies in the way. As often happens it was the team who hadn’t really threatened who then carved out the first real chance.
Firstly Buxton did well to shut out Le Fondre but Rotherham won the ball back, Marshall’s ball in was touched by Le Fondre and found Pringle unmarked but he steered his 18 yarder narrowly wide.
Rotherham retained possession well in midfield but Wednesday’s lurking threat fashioned itself next when Jermaine Johnson cut in again and struck a 25 yarder just over. He was getting lower!
Among the half time changes, on for Wednesday was Padraig Amond, an Irish striker from Portuguese football.
The Owls went in front five minutes into the second half. Sedgwick’s corner was met by Buxton, his header came back off the post and he casually backheeled the loose ball in from a couple of yards.
Amond, nippy, alert, should have added to it minutes later but lobbed wide after scampering beyond the defence onto a long ball. Wednesday took control after the goal and when Jermaine Johnson cut in off his wing again, past two challenges he was denied only by a brilliant save from Warrington.
But the second soon arrived and from another set-piece, Madine heading home Sedgwick’s corner on 65 minutes.
With the Owls in total control, Jermaine Johnson went on a remarkable run past four players only for Warrington to superbly deny him again and then make another fine save from Reda Johnson’s header.
Rotherham could not get an attacking foothold in the second half and didn’t threaten until pulling one back on 83 minutes, Le Fondre lunging in at the far post to head home Newey’s diagonal centre.
n ROTHERHAM UTD: Logan (Warrington ht); Marshall (Tonge 55), Brown, Cresswell, Smith; Schofield, Foster (Evans ht), Taylor, Pringle (Harrison 59); Le Fondre (Denton 85), Holroyd (Grabban 59). Unused: Annerson, Bradley, Gaughan, Hall.
n SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Weaver; Buxton, Jones, Johnson, Bennett; Sedgwick, Prutton, Semedo (O’Connor 76), Johnson; Madine, Morrison (Amond ht).Unused: O’Donnell, Reynolds, Beevers.
n REFEREE: Howard Webb (South Yorkshire).
n ATTENDANCE: 5,581.