ROTHERHAM United turned in one of their best showings of the season before being undone by an injury-time goal in a sickening defeat to high-flying Huddersfield Town.
The Millers led twice through Cardiff City loanees Semi Ajayi and Tom Adeyemi and were close to a deserved point when Terriers skipper Tommy Smith rifled through a crowded box to earn the visitors a 3-2 victory, their fifth straight win.
Despite the respective league positions of the two sides, Rotherham gave as good as they got in the first half and exposed Huddersfield’s vulnerability in the air.
Adeyemi had already gone close with a header when a set-piece led to the opening goal on 11 minutes. Jon Taylor swung in a corner and after Richard Wood’s header was blocked, Ajayi was on hand to bundle home his first goal since his loan switch from the Bluebirds.
Wood thumped another header just wide but the quality in the Huddersfield ranks was shown when they equalised eight minutes later, somewhat out of the blue, with a measured finish into the bottom corner from Joe Lolley.
Richard O’Donnell was equal to a string of efforts, including one from in-form former Millers loanee Izzy Brown, as the visitors began to hit their stride in the run-up to half time.
Despite Wood planting yet another header into the arms of goalkeeper Danny Ward early in the second half, the visitors started to pick their passes and Elias Kachunga should have buried a free header.
Rotherham dug in and survived a few scares before getting back in front on 73 minutes. Joe Newell set Adeyemi free and he let rip with a 25-yarder which flew past goalkeeper Danny Ward in front of an ecstatic kop.
The lead lasted just four minutes. Aaron Mooy’s corner came in and Kachunga bundled the ball over the line from close in.
It was a blow but the Millers, absorbing more pressure, refused to buckle and would have nudged back in front but for a stunning reflex save by Ward from Will Vaulks’ header.
Although the visitors finished the stronger, Paul Warne’s side looked to have closed the match out when Smith struck to complete Rotherham's 23rd league defeat of the season.
Millers: O’Donnell, Kelly, Purrington, Ajayi, Wood, Taylor (Mattock 87), Vaulks, Adeyemi, Newell, Yates (Smallwood 67), Ward (Blackstock 73)
Huddersfield: Ward, Smith, Billing, Kachunga, Holmes-Dennis, Hefele, Schindler, Mooy, Lolley (La Parra 62), Brown (Payne 80), Quaner (Wells 62)
Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)
Attendance: 10,114 (2,583 visitors)