ROTHERHAM United's first home match of their League One campaign ended in crushing disappointment as they were beaten 2-0 by Lincoln City.
The Millers dominated the first half only to find themselves a goal down at the break when Shaun MacDonald put the ball into his own net at windswept AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The visitors scored a second just three minutes after the break and a long, frustrating afternoon followed as Paul Warne's men were unable to find a way back.
Rotherham played a three-man frontline but too many hopeful balls up front didn't find their target.
There was no New York playing return for Millers legend Lee Frecklington, the midfielder, on his way back from groin surgery, watching from the West Stand after being deemed not fit enough for the Lincoln bench.
Rotherham were on top from the kick-off and regularly theatened the Imps' goal.
As early as the 36th second Kyle Vassell shot wide and before ten minutes was on the clock Matt Crooks and Matt Olosunde had missed the target with a header and a fierce drive respectively.
Freddie Ladapo was only inches away with a curling 23rd-minute effort, Vassell mistimed his header in front of an open goal five minutes later and, seconds afterwards, Ladapo clipped a half-chance over the bar.
Crooks tried his luck from distance in the 34th minute but the save was comfortable for Josh Vickers, then Michael Smith saw his 40th-minute shot blocked after a smart set-up by Ladapo.
However, the Imps took the lead with their first attempt, Tyler Walker getting away down the right and firing in a low, hard cross on 41 minutes that MacDonald inadvertently deflected in.
Smith was blocked again just before the interval as the Millers tried to hit back, Daniel Iversen held on to Walker's header at the other end and Joe Mattock skied the Millers' final opportunity of the opening period into the North Stand.
MacDonald almost made amends within a minute of the restart with a bullet header that Vickers did well to hold.
But within two minutes Rotherham were 2-0 down as Harry Anderson headed home unmarked from a corner.
In a late flurry, substitute Carlton Morris fired a free-kick over and Clark Robertson's goalbound header was deflected for a corner.
Ladapo's 89th-minute header brought a stunning diving save from Vickers before Iversen denied visiting sub Bruno Andrade in a one-on-one.
It was damning on the home side that, after falling 2-0 behind, Ladapo's effort was their only one on target, leading to a chorus of disapproval at the final whistle.
Goals: MacDonald og 41, Anderson 48 (Lincoln).
Rotherham (4-3-3): Daniel Iversen; Matt Olosunde, Michael Ihiekwe, Clark Robertson, Joe Mattock; Shaun MacDonald, Dan Barlaser (Ben Wiles 57), Matt Crooks; Michael Smith (Carlton Morris 57), Freddie Ladapo, Kyle Vassell (Jamie Proctor 65). Subs not used: Lewis Price, Jake Cooper, Richard Wood, Jamie Lindsay.
Lincoln (4-2-3-1): Josh Vickers; Neal Eardley, Cian Bolger, Michael Bostwick, Harry Toffolo; Michael O'Connor (Ellis Chapman 90), Joe Morrell; Harry Anderson, Jack Payne, Jorge Grant (Bruno Andrade 71); Tyler Walker (John Akinde 77). Subs not used: Grant Smith, Jordan Adebayo-Smith, Alex Bradley, Aaron Lewis.
Referee: Lee Swabey (Devon).
Attendance: 10,706 (2,320).
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.