ROTHERHAM United’s season hit a new low as they went out of the FA Cup to League One Oxford United.
Trailing to a strike from former Miller Ryan Taylor at half time, Paul Warne’s side made a game of it in the second half but two goals in the last ten minutes consigned them to 3-2 third round exit. Oxford also missed a penalty.
The Millers saw Izzy Brown and Greg Halford leave the club in the 24 hours before the tie and Warne had conceded that there wasn’t much between the teams given their respective league positions.
It certainly looked that way in the first half. Top scorer Danny Ward, tipped for a January move away, slid wide a great chance in the opening moments and Dexter Blackstock couldn’t capitalise on a one-on-one, but the visitors gave at least as good as they got.
Taylor was at the centre of so much of their best play, playing Maguire in for a super chance he should have put away. One-time Miller Maguire passed up an even better chance on 36 minutes when he saw his penalty saved at full stretch by Lewis Price after Kirk Broadfoot had felled Taylor.
Taylor made sure six minutes later when stooped to stab in Robert Hall’s centre, the Brinsworth-born player declining to celebrate out of respect to his home-town club.
The depressed mood around the New York Stadium was lifted six minutes after the restart when Ward thrashed a super first-time effort into the top corner. It was his tenth goal of the season.
The out-of-sorts Blackstock soon made way for the sharper Jerry Yates up front and the Millers found their appetite. Will Vaulks slapped a post and Ward forced a good save but the good work was undone ten minutes from time.
Rotherham were caught flat footed from Maguire’s corner and Phil Edwards powered home a close-range header.
There was more punishment two minutes from time when substitute Kane Hemmings finished off a cutting move down the left.
Tom Adeyemi converted a Yates cross to set up a grandstand finish but it wasn’t enough to stave off yet another defeat for the Championship’s bottom club.
The Millers' 15-year wait for a place in the fourth round goes on.
Millers: Price, Fisher, Mattock, Wood, Broadfoot, Forde, Adeyemi, Vaulks, Newell, Ward, Blackstock (Yates 52)
Oxford: Eastwood, Johnson, Lundstram, Edwards, Nelson, Ledson, MacDonald, Hall, Dunkley, Maguire, Taylor
Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire)
Attendance: 5,618 (1,292 visitors)