TOM Adeyemi was the hero as Rotherham United ended their agonising three-month wait for a victory at the expense of Ipswich Town.
The midfielder struck ten minutes from time to earn a 1-0 win and bank the Championship’s bottom club their first three-pointer since beating Norwich City on January 14.
It was only the Millers’ fifth win of the season but was greeted by a huge roar of relief from the New York Stadium crowd after so many let-downs. The winning margin would have been greater if Danny Ward hadn’t missed a first half penalty.
Ipswich showed nine changes from their win over Newcastle and were pressed back from the start.
When Jon Taylor was upended eight minutes in, Ward saw his tame spot kick saved by Dean Gerken but there were other chances. Taylor forced the stopper into another save and the Ipswich goal remained intact in a scramble thanks to blocks from shots by Adeyemi and Semi Ajayi.
The visitors laboured all over the park but nearly took a surprise lead just before half time when Danny Rowe’s shot was parried by Richard O’Donnell and Dominic Samuel crashed the loose ball against the woodwork.
The Millers had to reshuffle in the second half, losing Ward and Ajayi to injury, and had to do more defending.
O’Donnell stood strong to deny Brett Pitman from a ball over the top and substitute Jonson Clarke-Harris saw a header dribble agonisingly wide of the post before Adeyemi struck, latching onto a centre to lash the ball beyond the dive of Gerken at the kop end. It was the Cardiff loan man’s second goal in as many games and his seventh of the season.
Ipswich came back strong. Darnell Fisher cleared off the line and O’Donnell excelled again to deny Samuel before Taylor blazed a great chance high and wide and then the whistle was blown on the Millers’ first win in 18 long, long matches.
The Tractor Boys are the only Championship team not to have beaten Rotherham this season. It also means the club cannot finish with the lowest points total for a 46 game season.
Millers: O'Donnell, Fisher, Ajayi (Forde 53), Wood, Mattock; Adeyemi, Smallwood, Vaulks, Taylor, Morris Clarke-Harris 71), Ward (Bray 46)
Ipswich: Gerken, Emmanuel, Chambers, Smith, Kenlock, Diagouraga, Bishop (Moore 63), Dozzell, Rowe, Samuel, Pitman
Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)
Attendance: 8,266 (704 visitors)