No festive feeling for beaten Millers ... on-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 1 Bristol City 3

Brooke Norton-Cuffy on the attack for Rotherham in the first half. Picture by Kerrie BeddowsBrooke Norton-Cuffy on the attack for Rotherham in the first half. Picture by Kerrie Beddows
Brooke Norton-Cuffy on the attack for Rotherham in the first half. Picture by Kerrie Beddows
CHRISTMAS cheer was in short supply at AESSEAL New York Stadium as Rotherham United fell to a defeat in their final home encounter before the festive period.

It was a third straight loss on their own soil for the Millers who were well below their best and slipped a place to 17th in the Championship.

They shipped two avoidable goals in a first half in which their backline was found wanting and never looked like fighting their way back into the match in the second period.

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It was a disappointing effort in their first match at New York in five weeks.

After a quiet opening to the match, Rotherham had the first attempt on target, on ten minutes, as Jamie Lindsay's pass sent Ben Wiles racing towards goal only for the midfielder to shoot to close to keeper Max O'Leary.

The Millers were beginning to get on top and clever inter-play between Lindsay, Brooke Norton-Cuffy and Ollie Rathbone finished with Rathbone's shot being deflected for a corner.

However, they fell behind in the 14th minute when Nahki Wells crossed from the left and Wes Harding, in his attempt to clear the danger, turned the ball into his own net.

It was a poor, needless goal to concede.

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Rotherham continued to press and were level within 11 minutes. Norton-Cuffy, who was looking a real threat, beat Cameron Pring down the right and floated in a pinpoint cross that left Chiedozie Ogbene with a simple task in nodding home his seventh goal of the campaign.

The contest swung the way of the visitors again on the half-hour mark when Tommy Conway was given too much time and space on the left and his cross was parried by keeper Viktor Johansson straight into the path of Joe Williams who directed the ball over the line.

Again, it was a goal that left Rotherham asking questions of themselves.

The freezing temperatures that had been forecast hadn't materialised, although such was the winter gloom that the floodlights were on in the first half even though it was a lunch-time kick-off.

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Johannson saved from Wells while at the other end Dan Barlaser tested O'Leary with a 20-yarder before the interval.

The Millers were back in action for the first time in a month and looking to build on the encouraging form that had brought victory at Sheffield United and a draw at Luton leading up to the international break.

They had been hit by illness in the build-up to the clash and were without centre-halves Grant Hall and Cameron Humphreys.

Wing-back Peter Kioso, out with an ankle problem, was the only injury absentee.

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Manager Matt Taylor changed the backline at half-time, bringing on Jamie McCart for captain Richard Wood and, after 25 uneventful minutes of the second half, freshened up the attack with Georgie Kelly and Conor Washington.

Johansson saved at full stretch from Alex Scott in the 73rd minute after a slip from Lee Peltier had let in the City attacker but the keeper was powerless seconds later when Cameron Pring buried a header that ended Rotherham's hopes of a result.

Kelly headed over soon afterwards, a rare effort on goal for the Millers who were struggling to create much as they attacked the North Stand end.

Wiles blazed over, Kelly had a header cleared and Scott High saw his shot saved as Rotherham fought in vain for a way back. 

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Two added-time Kelly headers, one clawed away by the keeper, one wide, brought proceedings to a close.

The Millers could drop further down the table if results later this afternoon don't go their way.

Rotherham (3-5-1-1): Viktor Johansson; Lee Peltier, Richard Wood (Jamie McCart H-T), Wes Harding; Brooke Norton-Cuffy (Georgie Kelly 70), Jamie Lindsay (Conor Washington 70), Dan Barlaser, Ollie Rathbone (Scott High 60), Cohen Bramall; Ben Wiles (Tom Eaves 87); Chiedozie Ogbene. Subs not used: Josh Vickers, Hakeem Odoffin.

Bristol City (3-4-1-2): Max O'Leary; George Tanner, Andy King, Kai Naismith; Andreas Wiemann (Mark Sykes 53), Matty James, Joe Williams, Cameron Pring; Alex Scott; Tommy Conway (Sam Bell 79), Nahki Wells (Antoine Semenyo 74). Subs not used: Daniel Bentley, Rob Atkinson, Chris Martin, Dylan Kadji.

Goals: Harding og 14, Williams 30, Pring 73 (Bristol City); Ogbene 25 (Rotherham).

Referee: Sam Barrott (West Yorkshire).

Attendance: 10,167 (608).

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