On-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 3 QPR 1

Angus MacDonald in action against QPR. Picture by Kerrie BeddowsAngus MacDonald in action against QPR. Picture by Kerrie Beddows
Angus MacDonald in action against QPR. Picture by Kerrie Beddows
A STUNNING burst of two goals in three second-half minutes saw Rotherham United take a huge stride towards Championship survival against QPR at AESSEAL New York Stadium tonight.

The third-bottom Millers were trailing to a Lyndon Dykes goal when centre-forward Freddie Ladapo burst into life and fired the them to a victory that takes them to within three points of the team just above them, Coventry City.

Michael Smith rans half the length of the pitch to make sure of all three points with a minute to go.

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Just when they needed to, Rotherham stood up, and such was their buccaneering dominance once they'd fallen behind that they would have won by an even greater margin.

What a response, what a victory, what a time to get it.

And. don't forget, the Millers have games in hand.

They saw little of the ball in the early stages but kept QPR at bay without any real problem.

It wasn't until the quarter-hour mark that there was any effort of note on goal, George Thomas firing wide for the visitors and then repeating the feat soon after.

On 20 minutes Matt Crooks teed up Dan Barlaser on the edge of the penalty area and no-one in Paul Warne's squad is more suited to a shot from that range. The midfielder did no more, though, than send his effort straight into the arms of Seny Dieng.

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Crooks, fed by Barlaser, came close to a breakthrough for the home team nine minutes later, driving down the left as the Hoops' defence back-pedalled before steering the ball across goal and only inches wide.

On a mild spring night, neither team was gaining the upper hand. Rotherham's need for points was more acute than 11th-placed QPR and opportunities started to come for both sides.

Viktor Johansson dived full length to palm away Charlie Kelman's long-distance piledriver while at the other end Crooks, who was looking like Rotherham's best route to goal, was too big and strong for Dieng as he headed over from close range.

The Millers were enjoying their best spell of the contest but were indebted to Johansson on the stroke of half-time for a flying stop that kept out Osman Kaky's curling effort.

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Manager Warne, with an eye on Thursday's crucial survival showdown with Coventry City, had rested several key men and made five changes to the side that had drawn 0-0 at Huddersfield Town at the weekend.

Skipper Richard Wood, Jamie Lindsay, Lewis Wing and Smith were on the bench while Michael Ihiekwe missed out with a hamstring niggle.

In came Clark Robertson, Shaun MacDonald, Dan Barlaser, Ryan Giles and Ladapo as the Millers stuck with their usual 3-5-1-1 system.

With Wood on at the break for Matt Olosunde, the Millers started the second period brightly and Robertson volleyed over from the edge of the area in the 48th minute and soon after headed wide at the back post.

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However, they found themselves a goal down on 52 minutes when Dykes finished emphatically following good work down the right by Kakay.

As the Millers tried to respond, Robertson had his third sight of goal in under ten minutes. His 25-yarder was struck well but was too high to trouble Dieng.

Rotherham had made three more substitutions and they were have a marked effect.

The game swung in three frantic minutes as Ladapo suddenly found his form and buried two chances.

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Wing's cross was perfectly controlled by the striker and the 64th-minute shot was deadly, then he beat the offside trap to run on to Wes Harding's pass on leave Dieng grasping air.

In between the two goals, Wing had fired just over and Ladapo was close to a hat-trick on 70 minutes when Dieng stopped his attempt looping into the top corner.

The Millers were rampant now and huge appeals for a 72nd-minute penalty went unanswered when Rob Dickie appeared to handle before Ladapo volleyed over on the turn.

Smith's run and finish were superb as he wrapped up a glorious New York evening.

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Next up at New York? Coventry on Thursday. The survival battle is really on and few would bet against Warne's men in this mood.

Goals: Dykes 52 (QPR), Ladapo 64, 67, Smith 89 (Rotherham).

Rotherham (3-5-1-1): Viktor Johansson; Wes Harding, Angus MacDonald, Clark Robertson; Matt Olosunde (Richard Wood H-T), Dan Barlaser, Shaun MacDonald (Jamie Lindsay 59), Ben Wiles (Lewis Wing 59), Ryan Giles; Matt Crooks (Michael Smith 59), Freddie Ladapo (Kieran Sadlier 81). Subs not used: Jamal Blackman, Chiedozie Ogbene, Florian Jozefzoon, George Hirst.

QPR (3-4-2-1): Seny Dieng; Rob Dickie, Jordy De Wijs (Todd Kane H-T), Yoann Barbet; Osman Kakay, Sam Field (Ilias Chair 80), Stefan Johansen, Niko Hamalainen; Charlie Kelman, George Thomas (Chris Willock 80); Lyndon Dykes. Subs not used: Joe Lumley, Macauley Bonne, Dominic Ball, Faysal Bettache, Albert Adomah, Stephen Duke-McKenna.

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire).