CHAMPIONSHIP survival is no longer in Rotherham United's own hands after they tonight suffered a fifth successive defeat, at the hands of high-flying Brentford.
The third-bottom Millers remain four points behind closest rivals Derby County but now have only one match in hand over the Rams with only three games left to play.
They could have no complaints about losing in West London to a slick Bees side who are going for promotion to the Premier League and Saturday's home clash with Blackburn Rovers now takes on monumental importance.
Both teams were keen to attack in an even start but neither goalkeeper was called into action in the opening quarter of an hour.
The only effort on goal was Michael Smith's 14th-minute header but it flew well off target.
David Raya made the first save of the game and it was an easy one on 18 minutes when Jamie Lindsay curled his shot too close to the Bees keeper.
The Millers were enjoying a spell of pressure and Richard Wood headed a Ryan Giles' free-kick wide before Angus MacDonald connected almost too well from the edge of the penalty area and fired over.
Brentford's new home provided a superb backdrop to proceedings and it was Rotherham playing more of the football to do it justice.
However, they fell behind in the 26th minute when Sergi Canos crossed and Bryan Mbeumo got the better of MacDonald to head past Jamal Blackman.
Almost immediately Chiedozie Ogbene had a similar opportunity at the other but directed the ball straight at Raya.
The division's top scorer, Ivan Toney, twice tried his luck. Blackman had no trouble holding on to a low free-kick and the striker was then too high as he sought his 30th goal of the campaign.
It was the home side, whose play-off place was already confirmed, who were dominating now and Blackman got down quickly to save from Canos after the Brentford man had cleverly created space for himself in the box.
Toney hit the post on the stroke of half-time and the home side were glad to go in at the break only a goal down.
Manager Paul Warne had made three changes to the side that had been so unlucky to lose at Barnsley at the weekend and went with winger Ogbene up front with Smith.
Blackman was in goal as Viktor Johansson completed his concussion protocols after taking an elbow in the face at Oakwell and Ben Wiles and Wes Harding started, with Shaun MacDonald and Freddie Ladapo dropping to the bench.
Rotherham found no way back into the contest in the second half and it needed a good stop by Blackman to keep the score down as Toney theatened again, this time with a header, close to the hour mark.
Seven minutes from time, Emiliano Marcondes was thwarted by another Blackman save and, despite their best efforts, Warne's men could fashion no openings in response until time added on.
Michael Ihiekwe rose at the near post when Dan Barlaser crossed but Raya was equal to his header. then in the dying seconds Marcus Forss went close to a second for the Bees.
The Millers will keep fighting but relegation could come as early as Saturday if they suffer a sixth straight loss and Derby win at Swansea City.
Goals: Mbeumo 26 (Brentford).
Brentford (3-5-2): Luke Raya; Charlie Goode, Mads Bech Sorensen, Ethan Pinnock; Mads Roerslev, Vitaly Janelt (Mathias Jensen 89), Saman Ghoddos (Marcus Forss 73), Emiliano Marcondes, Sergi Canos (Tariqe Fosu 73); Bryan Mbeumo (Mads Bistrup 73), Ivan Toney. Subs not used: Luke Daniels, Christian Norgaard, Winston Reid, Fin Stevens, Lewis Gordon.
Rotherham (3-5-2): Jamal Blackman; Michael Ihiekwe, Richard Wood (Freddie Ladapo 66), Angus MacDonald; Wes Harding (Matt Olosunde 76), Lewis Wing, Jamie Lindsay (Dan Barlaser 76), Ben Wiles (Kieran Sadlier 85), Ryan Giles; Chiedozie Ogbene (George Hirst 76), Michael Smith. Subs not used: Josh Vickers, Trevor Clarke, Shaun MacDonald, Florian Jozefzoon.
Referee: Michael Salisbury (Lancashire).