continued their push for automatic promotion with a seventh successive home win as they beat 10-man Rotherham United at Bramall Lane.

Defender Jack O’Connell gave the Blades the perfect start by turning home Oliver Norwood’s ball in following an early short corner.

The long throws of captain Will Vaulks looked a likely way for Rotherham to conjure a reply, but that threat summarily disappeared when he was sent off for a late tackle on George Baldock.

Chris Wilder’s side dominated the second half despite heavy rain and, just seconds after Marek Rodak made a superb save to keep out an Enda Stevens header, he was beaten by Mark Duffy’s strike as the midfielder sealed the points.

The victory made it eight games unbeaten for the Blades and lifted them back up to second in the Championship, pending the outcome of Leeds United’s match at Bristol City later in the day.

Rotherham went into the South Yorkshire derby unbeaten in six matches – albeit with only one win and five draws in that run – but the odds were stacked against them once Vaulks was punished for his rash challenge.

Their players wore black armbands in memory of chairman Tony Stewart’s wife Joan, who died earlier this week, and there was applause for her from all sides of the ground in the 74th minute.

But they did not manage a single shot on target and Rodak was kept busy with saves to deny John Fleck, Norwood and David McGoldrick twice, as well as Stevens, before Duffy gave him no chance with a shot into the top corner for his fifth of the campaign.

Rotherham’s defeat meant they remained third from bottom of the table.

Jack O'Connell (far left) gives Sheffield United the lead at Bramall Lane

Line-ups

Sheff Utd

  • 1Henderson
  • 6BashamSubstituted forMadineat 65′minutes
  • 12Egan
  • 5O’Connell
  • 2Baldock
  • 16Norwood
  • 4Fleck
  • 3Stevens
  • 21Duffy
  • 17McGoldrickSubstituted forCranieat 84′minutes
  • 11Hogan

Substitutes

  • 8Dowell
  • 10Sharp
  • 14Madine
  • 15Coutts
  • 19Stearman
  • 25Moore
  • 28Cranie

Rotherham

  • 1Rodák
  • 28JonesSubstituted forCrooksat 82′minutes
  • 20Ihiekwe
  • 15Robertson
  • 3Mattock
  • 5Ajayi
  • 11TaylorSubstituted forFordeat 69′minutes
  • 4VaulksBooked at 28mins
  • 25Wiles
  • 22NewellSubstituted forat 70′minutes
  • 24Smith

Substitutes

  • 6Wood
  • 7Forde
  • 12Price
  • 13Towell
  • 17Crooks
  • 21Yates
  • 23
Referee:
Geoff Eltringham
Attendance:
27,402

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamRotherham
Possession
Home72%
Away28%
Shots
Home19
Away3
Shots on Target
Home11
Away0
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away9

Live Text

Full Time

Second Half ends, 2, Rotherham United 0.

Attempt saved. George Baldock () right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jack O’Connell with a cross.

Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Oliver Norwood () right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by John Fleck with a cross following a corner.

Attempt missed. John Egan () header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

Attempt blocked. John Fleck () left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mark Duffy.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Jack O’Connell () because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, . Martin Cranie replaces David McGoldrick.

Delay in match Clark Robertson (Rotherham United) because of an injury.

Offside, . Enda Stevens tries a through ball, but Scott Hogan is caught offside.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Rotherham United. Matt Crooks replaces Billy Jones.

Delay in match Michael Ihiekwe (Rotherham United) because of an injury.

Michael Ihiekwe (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Oliver Norwood () right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by John Fleck.

Ben Wiles (Rotherham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal!

Goal! 2, Rotherham United 0. Mark Duffy () left footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by John Fleck following a corner.

Attempt saved. Enda Stevens () header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mark Duffy with a cross.

Attempt saved. George Baldock () left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Mark Duffy.

Gary Madine () wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Michael Ihiekwe (Rotherham United).

Substitution

Substitution, Rotherham United. Ryan replaces Joe Newell.

Substitution

Substitution, Rotherham United. Anthony Forde replaces Jon Taylor.

Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Enda Stevens.

Substitution

Substitution, . Gary Madine replaces Chris Basham.

Attempt missed. David McGoldrick () right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by John Fleck.

Attempt saved. David McGoldrick () right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by John Fleck.

Attempt missed. David McGoldrick () right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Mark Duffy.

Offside, Rotherham United. Michael Smith tries a through ball, but Michael Ihiekwe is caught offside.

goal

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