Millers in the mood for promotion ... on-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 2 Oxford United 1

ROTHERHAM United fought back from conceding an early goal to take a huge step towards automatic promotion from League One at AESSEAL New York Stadium this afternoon.
Rarmani Edmonds-Green equalises for Rotherham late in the first half. Pictures by Kerrie BeddowsRarmani Edmonds-Green equalises for Rotherham late in the first half. Pictures by Kerrie Beddows
Rarmani Edmonds-Green equalises for Rotherham late in the first half. Pictures by Kerrie Beddows

The Millers found themselves behind in the tenth minute against play-off-chasing Oxford but responded with goals from Rarmani Edmonds-Green and Dan Barlaser to take a priceless three points.

New York was rocking as Paul Warne's men made light of their recent poor run to dominate the second half and pull off a deserved victory.

The win keeps Rotherham in second spot and probably needing one more triumph from their last two games to clinch a place in the Championship.

There was a feverish atmosphere inside New York in a game of huge importance to both sides.

The Millers were looking to take a step nearer automatic promotion while the U's needed points to gatecrash the play-off places.

On seven minutes, Richard Wood, making his 200th league appearance for the club, was pulled down in the area but referee Charles Breakspear ignored frenzied appeals for a penalty.

Just three minutes later, Rotherham's frustration burned even deeper when Oxford's Sam Long broke down the left and sent in a low cross that Barlaser turned into his own net to give the visitors the lead.

The Millers, attacking the North Stand, were winning corners and applying pressure without being able to test U's goalkeeper Jack Stevens.

In a moment of danger, Michael Smith couldn't get enough on his header from Barlaser's 26th-minute free-kick and the ball drifted wide.

Chiedozie Ogbene was playing up front with Smith and there wasn't even a place on the bench for striker Freddie Ladapo after a run of ineffective performances.

With the wind making life difficult for both sides, chances were at a premium and Smith sending an inviting cross across an empty net was a close as Rotherham could come to an equaliser.

That all wonderfully changed on the stroke of half-time when Wiles delivered the cross and the head of Edmonds-Green did the rest.

It was the perfect time to score and the Millers went off to huge roars from a galvanised crowd.

They had brought Wood back into the side and there was a place on the bench for striker Georgie Kelly for only the second time since his January arrival.

Ollie Rathbone was in midfield and wearing a Millers shirt for the 50th time in his debut season at New York.

Rotherham's leveller meant that Oxford, who needed all three points in their top-six quest, could no longer afford to time-waste.

The Millers began the second half on top and eight minutes after the restart Barlaser was only inches away from giving them the lead from the edge of the area after Ogbene had made ground down the right.

Wood was almost in but was denied by Stevens, at the other end sharp reflexes from Viktor Johansson foiled Rotherham old boy Ryan Williams, then Wes Harding couldn't get a back-post header on target from Ogbene's cross.

On 66 minutes, Ogbene did brilliantly to twist his way past Luke McNally and was felled in the area by the Oxford man.

Up stepped Barlaser to bury the penalty and send New York into raptures.

Five minutes later Smith had a big chance to extend the home team's advantage but the ball popped up at just the wrong time and he lifted his effort over the bar.

Johansson saved from Marcus Browne who'd been sprung clear by a long ball before Barlaser's corner looked like it might be curling in only to hit his own captain, Wood, on the Oxford line.

Smith volleyed wide as the Millers sought the third goal that would kill the contest and Wiles passed up a golden 81st-minute opportunity as he ran on to Ogbene's defence-splitting pass and couldn't beat Stevens.

It didn't matter. Long headed over in added time for Oxford as Rotherham saw out the match and left themselves looking good for a return to the second tier.

Rotherham (3-5-2): Viktor Johansson; Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Richard Wood, Michael Ihiekwe; Wes Harding (Joe Mattock 80), Ben Wiles, Dan Barlaser, Ollie Rathbone (Jamie Lindsay 90+2), Jordi Osei-Tutu; Chiedozie Ogbene, Michael Smith. Subs not used: Josh Chapman, Hakeem Odoffin, Tolaji Bola, Josh Kayode, Georgie Kelly.

Oxford (4-3-3): Jack Stevens; Sam Long, Luke McNally, Elliott Moore, Ciaron Brown; Ryan Williams (Marcus Browne 70), Herbie Kane (Marcus McGuane H-T), Cameron Brannagan; Billy Bodin, Matty Taylor, Mark Sykes (Gavin Whyte 78). Subs not used: Simon Eastwood, Anthony Forde, Nathan Holland, Steve Seddon.

Goals: Barlaser og 10 (Oxford); Edmonds-Green 45+3, Barlaser pen 66 (Rotherham).

Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey).

Attendance: 10,415 (1,192).