On-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 1 MK Dons 2

On-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 1 MK Dons 2

By Paul Davis | 05/03/2022

On-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 1 MK Dons 2
Ben Wiles in second-half action. Picture by Kerrie Beddows

BEATEN Rotherham United threw away a lead against ten-man MK Dons at AESSEAL New York Stadium this afternoon to let the chasing pack gain ground on them at the summit of League One.

The table-topping Millers looked set for a ninth victory in their last 11 games when they led 1-0 at the break and the third-placed visitors had been reduced in numbers by a red card.

However, two MK goals in two minutes during the second half stunned the home side who saw their gap to second-placed Wigan Athletic reduced to four points.

Rotherham pressed for an equaliser but couldn't make the advantage of their extra player tell on a day of disappointment and frustration.

Results elsewhere went against them to give their rivals renewed hope in the battle for automatic promotion.

The contest was only 58 seconds old when Josh Vickers kept the Millers from falling behind.

Troy Parrott was sprung clear by Scott Twine's pass and the goalkeeper was equal to the Dons striker's shot as he pulled off a crucial save.

Rotherham were finding it hard to get going as the wind gusted around New York and the visitors enjoyed the better of the early exchanges.

Michael Smith got on the end of a Shane Ferguson cross in the 14th minute as the home side began to come to life but his header lacked the power to unduly trouble Jamie Cumming in the MK goal.

Not long afterwards, Smith drilled a low effort just wide from the edge of the box after being supplied by strike partner Freddie Ladapo.

Rotherham took the lead with a penalty on 25 minutes after Chiedozie Ogbene was felled while racing through on goal following Ferguson's raking pass and Smith's headed flick-on.

Dan Harvie was sent off for the foul and Dan Barlaser added to MK's woes by burying the spot-kick down the middle.

Mo Eisa fired over but the Millers now looked to be in control of the contest.

Ollie Rathbone picked Conor Coventry's pocket and drove off target and Ladapo messed up a simple finish as Paul Warne's men applied the pressure.

They had been hit by illness in their camp and were playing only days after two long away trips but were showing no ill effects

Captain and centre-half Richard Wood among the substitutes while midfielder Jamie Lindsay missed out on a squad place completely.

Central defender Rarmani Edmonds-Green wing-back Mickel Miller have returned to training after hamstring pulls but weren't risked as Rotherham went with the starting 11 that won at Plymouth Argyle last weekend.

The Millers had encountered few problems in the second half until they were hit by a quickfire two-goal blast as the hour mark approached.

First Harry Darling headed home after a corner and then Mo Eisa beat Vickers with a shot into the bottom corner to turn the game on its head.

Ogbene blazed wide on the turn from close range as Rotherham tried to respond and, with the clock ticking down, Smith was twice only inches away from a leveller.

Six minutes of added time brought another wave of attacks but no clear-cut opportunities and the Millers tasted defeat for the first time in two months.

Rotherham (3-5-2): Josh Vickers; Wes Harding, Michael Ihiekwe, Joe Mattock; Chiedozie Ogbene, Ben Wiles, Dan Barlaser (Josh Kayode 75), Ollie Rathbone, Shane Ferguson (Jordi Osei-Tutu 68), Michael Smith, Freddie Ladapo (Tolaji Bola 80). Subs not used: Viktor Johansson, Richard Wood, Angus MacDonald, Hakeem Odoffin.

MK Dons (3-4-3): Jamie Cumming; Warren O'Hora, Harry Darling, Dean Lewington; Tennai Watson, Conor Coventry, Josh McEachran (David Kasumu 49), Dan Harvie; Scott Twine (Hiram Boateng 85), Mo Eisa, Troy Parrott (Kaine Kesler Hayden 69). Subs not used: Franco Ravizolli, Matt Smith, Theo Corbeanu, Dan Kemp.

Goals: Barlaser pen 25 (Rotherham); Darling 57, Eisa 59 (MK).

Referee: Marc Edwards (Tyne and Wear).

Attendance: 9,731 (608).