Promotion setback ... on-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 0 Charlton Athletic 1

Ben Wiles in first-half action. Picture by Kerrie BeddowsBen Wiles in first-half action. Picture by Kerrie Beddows
Ben Wiles in first-half action. Picture by Kerrie Beddows
THE chance to climb back into the top two in League One went begging as Rotherham United fell to defeat to Charlton Athletic at AESSEAL New York Stadium this afternoon.

The Millers had been hoping for a knock-on effect from their Wembley exploits six days earlier but it didn't materialise as they slipped to a second successive home loss in their first league outing for three weeks.

MK Dons' draw at Wimbledon opened the door for Paul Warne's men to return to the automatic-promotion positions with a victory.

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But a stunning Addicks winner in the second half ruined the script and Rotherham, continuing to stutter badly after heading the table for several months, remain third with six matches of their run-in left.

Both teams were already on the pitch when an announcement came that the start would be delayed because of a medical emergency.

A couple of minutes later, someone was wheeled away on a stretcher and the contest began.

Ben Wiles, after his spectacular strike at the national stadium, tried a repeat in the 14th minute, meeting the ball with full force but driving his volley wide.

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This was Rotherham's first match since their Papa John's Trophy Final success and, to loud applause, chairman Tony Stewart had carried the silverware on to the pitch before kick-off.

The noise ramped up to an even higher level when manager Paul Warne then made an appearance to offer a salute to the crowd.

Suitably buoyed, the Millers made the better start and, five minutes after Wiles' effort, they unlocked the 15th-placed visitors' defence with deft passing only for Michael Smith to lift Wiles' precision chip over the bar.

The centre-forward should have hit the target but an offside flag would have ruled out a goal.

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Michael Ihiekwe's inviting cross almost bounced in at the far post as Chiedozie Ogbene lurked with intent without managing to find a crucial touch.

Just past the half-hour mark Ollie Rathbone was mugged on the halfway line by Conor Washington and did brilliantly to chase back and put in a recovery tackle as the Charlton man raced in on goal.

Rotherham were nearly creating but not quite creating and were relieved in the closing seconds of the opening period to see Corey Blackett-Taylor come closer to the corner flag than the goal with a wasteful low shot from a good position.

Striker Freddie Ladapo was back in the starting line-up for the first time since suffering a quad injury in early March.

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Wes Harding and Shane Ferguson were rewarded with places in Warne's 11 at centre-half and wing-back respectively after impressive displays off the Wembley bench.

Seven minutes after the restart, as the Millers attacked the North Stand, Smith didn't make the most of Ferguson's supply as he headed wide

At the other end, Viktor Johansson clawed the ball away to deny Washington, but the goalkeeper was powerless seconds later when George Dobson lashed in a 56th-minute, long-range piledriver to put the home team behind.

Rotherham, desperate to re-ignite their promotion push, tried to hit back. Ladapo and substitute Jamie Lindsay couldn't get shots away in a goalmouth melee and then another sub, Mickel Miller fired over the bar.

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By 70 minutes, Addicks keeper Craig MacGillivray hadn't had a save to make all afternoon.

Smith dragged a shot off target and, as the clock ticked down, there was little sign of an equaliser coming.

By the end, MacGillivray still hadn't been tested, leaving the Millers with plenty on their minds in the last month of the campaign.

Rotherham (3-5-2): Viktor Johansson; Wes Harding, Richard Wood, Michael Ihiekwe; Chiedozie Ogbene, Ben Wiles, Dan Barlaser (Jordi Osei-Tutu 68), Ollie Rathbone (Jamie Lindsay 62), Shane Ferguson (Mickel Miller 62); Michael Smith, Freddie Ladapo. Subs not used: Josh Chapman, Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Joe Mattock, Josh Kayode.

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Charlton (3-5-2): Craig MacGillivray; Sean Clare, Jason Pearce, Akin Famewo; Adam Matthews, Alex Gilbey, George Dobson, Albie Morgan, Corey Blackett-Taylor (Ben Purrington 90+1); Jayden Stockley, Conor Washington. Subs not used: Nathan Harness, Diallang Jaiyesimi, Jake Forster-Caskey, Nile John, Jonathan Leko, Mason Burstow.

Goals: Dobson 56 (Charlton).

Referee: Ross Joyce (Cleveland).

Attendance: 9,087 (442).