ROTHERHAM United slipped to defeat at the hands of promotion-chasing Bournemouth tonight but remained out of the Championship's bottom three.
The Millers gave a good account of themselves at the Vitality Stadium and it needed a moment of quality in the first half from a side in the Premier League last season to send them on the long trip back home empty-handed.
Paul Warne's men were left ruing two missed chances, by captain Richard Wood and substitute striker Freddie Ladapo, both of whom should have scored, as their run of three successive league victories came to an end.
The Cherries, now unbeaten in four games under caretaker boss Jonathan Woodgate, managed no better opportunities themselves.
Birmingham City's defeat at Millwall meant Rotherham, after their third loss in eight games, stayed in 21st spot with games in hand on all the teams around them in the table.
Both sides were looking to attack but neither goalkeeper was called into action in the opening quarter of an hour.
Viktor Johansson was equal to Arnaut Danjum's low shot in the 16th minute, taking an awkward, bouncing ball cleanly after the winger had worked a yard of space.
The Millers goalkeeper could do nothing eight minutes later, however, when Sam Surridge led a quick break down the right and Philip Billing applied a clinical finish when the ball was pulled back into his path by Adam Smith.
Rotherham had been having plenty of territory and were looking a threat on set-pieces although they had yet to test Asmir Begovic in the other net.
For all that they were worrying Bournemouth, their only real effort was a fierce 34th-minute effort by Lewis Wing that was blocked inside the penalty area.
Matt Crooks turned and fired into the side-netting with six minutes of the first half remaining but the angle was always going to be too tight to trouble Begovic.
On a cold, windy night on the south coast, the Millers had responded well to going behind and were showing signs they might find a way back into the contest.
They could so easily have been level in the 44th minute when Dan Barlaser's floated free-kick was played back across goal by Michael Ihiekwe and Wood seemed certain to score.
Unfortunately, the ball fell just behind the skipper and all he could do was direct it over an empty net from close range.
Manager Warne had made no changes to the side that had last played eight days ago at home to Cardiff City.
Johansson was preferred in goal to Jamal Blackman who took his place on the bench after a period of self-isolation.
Rotherham took the game to the Cherries after the break and Ben Wiles' stunning 67th-minute volley was heading into the top corner until an equally-superb save from Begovic.
They threw on attacking subs and should have had their equaliser in the 80th minute.
Wood played in Ladapo with a lovely pass but the forward, just seconds after his introduction, fired wastefully off target with only Bergovic to beat.
The Millers kept pressing to the end but time ran out and it needed Johansson to prevent a Bournemouth second in time added on as he produced a fine stop to deny Junior Stanislas.
If only one of those two huge Millers chances had gone in.
Goals: Billing 23 (Bournemouth).
Bournemouth (4-2-3-1): Asmir Begovic; Adam Smith, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Lloyd Kelly, Diego Rico; Lewis Cook (Ben Pearson 87), Jefferson Lerma; Junior Stanislas, Philip Billing, Arnaut Danjuma (David Brooks 62); Sam Surridge. Subs not used: Mark Travers, Chris Mepham, Jack Wiltshere, Shane Long, Rodrigo Riquelme, Jaidon Anthony, Jordan Zemura.
Rotherham (3-5-1-1): Viktor Johansson; Michael Ihiekwe, Richard Wood, Clark Robertson; Matt Olosunde (Ryan Giles 78), Dan Barlaser (Florian Jozefzoon 69), Lewis Wing (Freddie Ladapo 78), Ben Wiles, Wes Harding (Angus MacDonald 87); Matt Crooks; Michael Smith (George Hirst 78). Subs not used: Jamal Blackman, Trevor Clarke, Shaun MacDonald, Kieran Sadlier.
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire).