Millers go down again ... on-the-whistle report: QPR 2 Rotherham United 1

ROTHERHAM United slipped to a sixth successive defeat as they took another step towards the Championship drop by losing to fellow strugglers Queens Park Rangers this afternoon.

The clash in West London pitted the bottom-placed Millers against opposition who began the contest also in the drop zone.

Leam Richardson's men took an early lead but couldn't hold on and two second-half goals sealed their fate and left them 16 points adrift of safety with 12 matches left to play

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Rotherham made a fast start and had already put the home defence under real pressure before taking a seventh-minute lead.

Andy Rinomhota in first-action for Rotherham United in the Championship match at QPR. Picture: Jim BrailsfordAndy Rinomhota in first-action for Rotherham United in the Championship match at QPR. Picture: Jim Brailsford
Andy Rinomhota in first-action for Rotherham United in the Championship match at QPR. Picture: Jim Brailsford

Sam Nombe flicked on a lofted ball and Tom Eaves, fresh from his midweek goal at Ipswich Town, ran on to lift it over Asmir Begovic with a delicate touch into the net.

It came only seconds after Sam Clucas had tested the Rangers goalkeeper with a fierce shot and soon afterwards Peter Kioso brought another stop from the Bosnian international.

QPR's backline were being hounded and harried by the front-foot visitors and were misplacing passes so badly that there were boos from home supporters.

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Rangers, who named Ilias Chair in their starting 11 despite the attacker's court troubles in his native Belgian where he is facing jail, lifted themselves and only trademark sharpness from Millers shot-stopper Viktor Johansson denied Michael Frey a 15th-minute equaliser.

More brilliance from the flying Swede kept out Steve Cook's powerful header ten minutes later.

Ollie Rathbone was missing from the Rotherham line-up while he undergoes concussion protocols and that saw Femi Seriki handed his first start.

The Sheffield United loanee was named on the right, with Kioso switching flanks to the left and Clucas moving inside into central midfield.Kioso and Seriki exchanged places when Chair started to cause damage down QPR's left.

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Cameron Humphreys had come in at the back for Lee Peltier and there was a change up front as Nombe partnered Eaves in place of Jordan Hugill.

As the contest moved past the half-hour mark, Eaves held his head in his hands after failing to get the connection he should have done on Clucas' deep free-kick while resolute defending at the other end continued to keep Rangers at bay.

The Millers were being backed by 609 away fans who were making themselves heard and there was loud applause for Johansson as he got down quickly at his near post to smother a fierce 37th-minute Chair effort.

Rotherham led until the 60th minute when substitute Paul Smyth scampered down the right and equalised with a low shot into the far corner from a tight angle.

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Seconds later, Johansson saved from Chair who had cut in from the left in search of a quickfire second.

Hakeem Odoffin brought a save from Begovic with a header as the clock ticked towards the final 15 minutes, but it was the home side who were pushing for a winner and they duly went ahead.

Chris Willock was set up by dangerman Chair and his effort from just outside the area flew past Johansson.

Having begun so well, the Millers couldn't muster a similar ending and have taken only two points in 2024.

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QPR (4-2-3-1): Asmir Begovic; Jimmy Dunne, Steve Cook, Jake Clarke-Salter, Kenneth Paal (Ziyad Larkeche 84); Isaac Hayden (Sam Field H-T), Jack Colbeck; Chris Willock, Joe Hodge (Paul Smyth H-T), Ilias Chair (Lucas Anderson 90+2); Michael Frey (Lyndon Dykes 84). Subs not used: Jordan Archer, Morgan Fox, Reggie Cannon, Sinclair Armstrong.

Rotherham (3-5-2): Viktor Johansson; Hakeem Odoffin, Sean Morrison, Cameron Humphreys (Arvin Appiah 84); Femi Seriki (Cafu 56), Andy Rinomhota (Jamie Lindsay 84), Christ Tiehi, Sam Clucas, Peter Kioso; Tom Eaves (Charlie Wyke 78), Sam Nombe (Jordan Hugill 78). Subs not used: Dillon Phillips, Lee Peltier, Shane Ferguson.

Goals: Eaves 7 (Rotherham); Smyth 60, Willock 75 (QPR).

Referee: Matthew Donohue (Greater Manchester).

Attendance: 16,351 (609).