Freddie Ladapo at the double for pole-position Millers ... on-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 2 Morecambe 0

Freddie Ladapo celebrates with Shane Ferguson after goal number two. Pictures by Kerrie Beddows.Freddie Ladapo celebrates with Shane Ferguson after goal number two. Pictures by Kerrie Beddows.
Freddie Ladapo celebrates with Shane Ferguson after goal number two. Pictures by Kerrie Beddows.
TWO-GOAL Freddie Ladapo fired Rotherham United to victory at AESSEAL New York Stadium tonight as the Millers maintained their six-point advantage at the top of League One.

The centre-forward's first-half double against drop-zone Morecambe was enough to give the home side a 2-0 victory and only the woodwork stopped him bagging the first hat-trick of his career after the break.

It was a good night for Paul Warne's men who are now unbeaten at New York in 19 matches and have kept 18 league clean sheets

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They lived dangerously at times in the second half but could also have added to their total against visitors who had seen their manager, Stephen Robinson, depart for St Mirren on the morning of the game.

Rotherham swept into the lead after only four minutes with a superb strike from their record signing.

He showed perfect technique as he controlled Ollie Rathbone's pass and flashed a half-volley on the turn into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.

The 29-year-old looked in the mood for more and dragged a low shot wide seven minutes later.

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The Millers were having most of the play but it needed a fine save from Josh Vickers to preserve their lead, the goalkeeper diving full length to deny Cole Stockon when the Shrimps' top scorer met Shane McLoughin's cross with a full-blooded volley.

Soon afterwards, only the woodwork prevented the home side doubling their advantage, Michael Ihiekwe's header from Ben Wiles' supply coming back off the bar.

Good work between Jordi Osei-Tutu and Rathbone ended with Wiles firing over as the New York crowd finally sparked into life.

They had plenty to sing about on the half-hour mark as Ladapo took possession of Dan Barlaser's sublime pass, held off his marker and coolly steered a precision finish into the bottom corner.

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Before kick-off there had been a minute's applause for two big figures in Rotherham's history, former player and manager Billy McEwan and ex-defender Trevor Swift, both of whom sadly passed away last week.

The tribute was a moving one, with the small number of Morecambe fans in the away end playing a full part in it.

As half-time approached, Shane Ferguson whipped an effort just wide, Vickers saved sharply from Jonah Ayunga at the other end and Michael Smith steered a low attempt a whisker off target after being sent clear by Ladapo.

Rotherham had handed a first start to Arsenal loanee Osei-Tutu, allowing them to rest wing-back Chiedozie Ogbene on the bench.

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Skipper Richard Wood, not always a midweek selection at the age of 36, benefited from the extra day's recovery afforded by last Friday's Wigan Athletic clash and took his place in the side.

Smith sent an effort skidding wide within seconds of the restart as the Millers attacked the North Stand while Greg Leigh, once a Rotherham transfer target, gave Vickers a comfortable save before Shrimps dangerman Stockton should have done better than direct the ball over the bar from point-blank range.

Ladapo cut in from the left on 59 minutes only for visiting keeper Trevor Carson to turn his shot on to the post and deny him a treble.

Despite all their offensive work, Warne's side had gone a little ragged at the back and it needed more excellent stops from Vickers to twice foil Jonathan Obika.

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Either side of those attempts, Wiles and Hakeem Odoffin weren't far away from a Millers third with fierce shots

Ryan Cooney hit the post for Morecambe in stoppage time but Rotherham held on to their two-goal cushion and the evening was completed by a first New York outing this season for Angus MacDonald who came on as a late substitute after his long absence.

Rotherham United (3-5-2): Josh Vickers; Michael Ihiekwe, Richard Wood, Wes Harding; Jordi Osei-Tutu (Chiedozie Ogbene 58), Ben Wiles, Dan Barlaser (Hakeem Odoffin 72), Ollie Rathbone, Shane Ferguson (Angus MacDonald 84); Michael Smith, Freddie Ladapo. Subs not used: Viktor Johansson, Jamie Lindsay, Tolaji Bola, Josh Kayode.

Morecambe (3-5-2): Trevor Carson; Anthony O'Connor, Rhys Bennett, Jacob Bedeau; Ryan Cooney, Shane McLoughlin, Ousmane Fane (Aaron Wildig 69), Toumani Diagouraga (Courtney Duffus 81), Greg Leigh; Cole Stockton, Jonah Ayunga (Jonathan Obika 61). Subs not used: Adam Smith, Dylan Connolly, Adam Phillips, Liam Gibson.

Goals: Ladapo 4, 30 (Rotherham).

Referee: Simon Mather (Lancashire).

Attendance: 8,376 (183).