On-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 1 Bolton Wanderers 1

The player Rotherham United once tried to sign deprived the Millers of a vital win just as  victory was in sight at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

The player Rotherham United once tried to sign deprived the Millers of a vital win just as victory was in sight at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

The home side were deservedly leading 1-0 through Will Vaulks' blistering 22-yard free-kick with only five minutes of their Championship contest remaining.

But up stepped Bolton Wanderers substitute Christian Doidge, whom Rotherham boss Paul Warne spent the summer of 2017 chasing when the striker was at Forest Green, to drill an 85th-minute equaliser past Marek Rodak.

It was cruel luck on Warne's men who created enough opportunities to settle the encounter in their favour and are now two points above the drop zone in 20th place.

Rodak had produced a stunning save to keep out Josh Magennis' 47th-minute penalty, rightly given for a trip on the same player by Richard Wood, before Vaulks buried his set-piece into the bottom far corner eight minutes later.

Michael Smith had a shot saved, Ryan Williams headed just wide and Smith crashed a spectacular long-range curler agains the post as Rotherham tried to kill off the game.

Then came Doidge's intervention.

The Millers should have been in front at the break, having created several chances to open the scoring.

The biggest culprit was Kyle Vassell who had time and space on the half-hour mark to pick his spot at the back post from Joe Mattock's corner but directed a weak header wide.

A Millers corner had caused Bolton problems as early as the second minute when Williams put the ball on to the head of Semi Ajayi only for the centre-half's effort to miss by inches.

Six minutes later, Smith fought off the attentions of two markers to fire a fierce shot just over and the striker should have done more soon after, following Jon Taylor's cross, than head too close to goalkeeper Ben Alnwick.

Visiting skipper David Wheater almost did the job for Rotherham after 25 minutes, his misdirected header forcing Alnwick into action, before Taylor, played in down the right by a lovely Richie Towell pass, saw his shot deflected for a corner.

All Bolton offered in reply was a 20th-minute header glanced over by Magennis when Gary O'Neil whipped in a dangerous free-kick from the right.

Other than the penalty, they came up with even less in the second half ... until Doidge showed why Warne had been so keen to bring him to New York.

Rotherham (4-4-1-1): Rodak; Jones (Vyner 28), Ajayi, Wood, Mattock; Taylor (Manning 78), Vaulks, Towell, Vassell (Newell 65); Williams; Smith. Subs not used: Price, Palmer, Wiles, Proctor.

Bolton (3-5-2): Alnwick; Hobbs, Wheater, Wilson; Olkowski, Williams (Doidge 66), O'Neil (Vela 34), Lowe, Dyer (Wildschut 66); Magennis, Donaldson. Subs not used: Matthews, Taylor, Beevers, Noone.

Goals: Vaulks 55 (Rotherham), Doidge 85 (Bolton).

Referee: John Brooks (Leicestershire). 

Attendance: 10,011 (1,918).