ROTHERHAM United moved six points clear at the top of the table as a dogged performance at Lincoln City brought them their eighth win in their last nine League One matches.
Cheered on by a sell-out away following, the Millers had to fight hard for all three points under the Friday-night lights against opponents with one of the best home records in the division.
Matt Crooks scored the all-important goal just after the break, allowing Paul Warne's enjoy their weekend when all their promotion rivals are in action.
Rotherham were the first side to really threaten and were denied twice in quickfire succession in the tenth minute.
Hakeeb Adelakun swung the ball in from the left and Chiedozie Ogbene got two shots away only to see both of them blocked.
Five minutes later, the heroics of Dan Iversen prevented the Millers from going behind, the keeper stretching and diving superbly to palm away a Jorge Grant header from Harry Anderson's right-flank supply.
Imps goalkeeper Josh Vickers had his first stop to make after 22 minutes, dealing comfortably with Michael Smith's header from Dan Barlaser's free-kick.
Rotherham lived dangerously again just before the half-hour mark as Anderson was picked out by Jake Hesketh's cross and the winger skied a golden opportunity over the bar.
As half-time approached, Adelakun jinked forward 40 yards and played the ball out to Kyle Vassell whose cross was turned wide by Crooks.
Playing with the wind, the Millers needed only two minutes of the second half to make the breakthrough.
Barlaser played the ball to Vassell on the right and when the cross came in there was the giant frame of Crooks running in unmarked to glance a header beyond Vickers.
Anderson shot wastefully off target from a good position on 60 minutes for the home side but the Millers were looking more dangerous than they had before the break.
On 69 minutes, Vassell beautifully lifted the ball over an opponent and closed in on goal but Vickers was equal to his fierce shot.
Lincoln pressed towards the end and Richard Wood kept Rotherham's lead intact by clearing the ball close to the goalline as Tyreece John-Jules' 80th-minute touch was heading in.
Iversen did even better in the 90th minute, saving from John-Jules when the Imps man was clean through.
The away end erupted as the final whistle confirmed a hard-earned, crucial Millers victory.
Lincoln (4-1-4-1): Josh Vickers; Neal Eardley, Cian Bolger, Jason Shackell, Max Mlebourne; Liam Bridcutt; Harry Anderson (Tom Hopper 82), Jake Hesketh (Anthony Scully 72), Joe Morrell, Jorge Grant; Tyreece John-Jules. Subs not used: Charlie Andrew, Jack Payne, Ellis Chapman, Conor Coventry, Tayo Edun.
Rotherham (4-4-2): Dan Iversen; Adam Thompson, Michael Ihiekwe, Richard Wood, Ben Wiles; Chiedozie Ogbene (Josh Koroma 79), Matt Crooks, Dan Barlaser, Hakeeb Adelkun (Shaun MacDonald 90); Kyle Vassell (Freddie Ladapo 76), Michael Smith. Subs not used: Laurence Bilboe, Jamie Lindsay, Matt Olosunde, Trevor Clarke.
Goals: Crooks 47 (Rotherham).
Referee: Martin Coy (Durham).
Attendance: 9,876 (1,745).
We want to continue holding local authorities to account, attending court and council meetings, as well as providing breaking news, competitions and offers – but it costs money. Online advertising does not cover costs, therefore we feel the need to ask for your help in ensuring we can provide the best possible coverage, online and in our printed products.
For as little as £1, you can support the Rotherham Advertiser – and it only takes a minute.
Click here to support local news.