On-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 1 Tranmere Rovers 1

By Paul Davis | 31/08/2019

On-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 1 Tranmere Rovers 1
Action from Millers v Tranmere. Picture by Dave Poucher

CONTROVERSY raged as Rotherham United conceded a stoppage-time goal for the second time in four days to cost themselves their first home win of their League One Campaign.

The Millers were leading 1-0 deep into time added on through Ben Wiles' first ever goal when the ball appeared to go out of play as Tranmere Rovers searched for an equaliser.

Referee Andy Haines allowed play to go and Stefan Payne was on hand to force the ball into the net to the fury of the AESSEAL New York Stadium crowd.

Wiles' 73rd-minute effort looked to have won the match for Rotherham but couldn't disguise a disjointed performance in a niggly encounter and the Millers' 4-3-3 formation is still a work in progress.

Paul Warne's men had suffered similar heartache on Wednesday when Sheffield Wednesday edged a Carabao Cup second-round tie with a late, late goal

Neither side threatened much in a scrappy first half that saw the introduction of Millers new boy Chiedozie Ogbene in only the 12th minute when striker Kyle Vassell limped off with an injury.

Clark Robertson's ninth-minute header from Michael Smith's cross gave Scott Davies an easy save and the Tranmere goalkeeper wasn't really troubled again until the 44th minute when he was flapping as Ben Wiles' mishit shot squirmed on to the post.

Rovers' only effort was a low 19th-minute show by Kieron Morris that gave home keeper Daniel Iversen no problems.

Ogbene was a huge second-half threat on his debut, his pace and trickery on the left flank too much for the visitors to handle.

Twice he left his marker for dead and produced perfect centres. Smith was only inches away from connecting with the first, in the 48th minute, and the second saw Matt Crooks firing over the bar at the back post 11 minutes later.

The Millers scored at New York for the first time this season as Wiles smacked the ball into the roof of the net on the turn after a cross from Matt Olosunde.

The 20-year-old thought he'd broken his duck at Burton Albion a fortnight earlier when his strike was eventually marked down as an own goal.

This time there was no doubt as the home-grown talent pounced in front of the North Stand.

Payne was close to an leveller but missed his connection on a 78th-minute header with the goal gaping and the same player was denied by a superb Crooks block.

Crooks could have made the same safe with a rasping drive from distance that just missed the mark and so could Freddie Ladapo when his low shot was saved after Crooks had played him clean through.

Then came the stoppage-time flashpoint.

Goals: Wiles 73 (Rotherham); Payne 90 + 4 (Tranmere).

Rotherham (4-3-3): Daniel Iversen, Matt Olosunde, Michael Ihiekwe, Richard Wood, Clark Robertson; Ben Wiles, Dan Barlaser (Jamie Lindsay H-T), Matt Crooks; Michael Smith, Kyle Vassell (Chiedozie Ogbene 12), Freddie Ladapo (Joe Mattock 89). Subs not used: Laurence Bilboe, Jake Cooper, Adam Thompson, Shaun MacDonald.

Tranmere (3-4-1-2): Scott Davies; Sid Nelson (Calum Woods 89), George Ray, Emmanuel Monthe; Kieron Morris, Darren Potter, David Perkins, Liam Ridehalgh; Connor Jennings; Paul Mullin (Rushian Hepburn-Murphy 75), Stefan Payne. Subs not used: Luke Pilling, Jordan Ponticelli, Harvey Gilmour, Jacob Maddox, Danny Walker-Rice.

Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear).

Attendance: 8,691 (982).

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