ROTHERHAM United saw their long unbeaten run ended by plucky strugglers Rochdale on a frustrating afternoon at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
A goal by Stephen Humphrys midway through the second half separated the sides and, in truth, the visitors could have won by a greater margin.
It was the Millers' first defeat in three months, a run of 14 matches.
Chasing an eighth straight win, Paul Warne’s men were second best in the first half and were outworked at times by the feisty visitors who looked every bit up for their drop fight. They could have been in the clear by half time.
Humphrys was a danger, so nearly converting a chance at the back stick and unleashing a stinger that Marek Rodak had to beat clear.
Rodak was also forced to rush out to deny Andrew Cannon and it took a last ditch clearance from Richard Wood to snuff out another big chanCe.
Though fortunate to go in level at the break, the Millers had a bit shout for a goal in first-half stoppage time when Wood headed in. Referee Graham Salisbury, after some hesitation, disallowed the effort for a foul on goalkeeper Josh Lillis.
Warne will have been glad to get into his players during the break but within minutes of the restart it took an important intervention from Richie Towell to prevent Brad Inman nipping in to score.
Rotherham had a bit more possession but could have no complaints when the visitors broke the deadlock on 66 minutes. Humphrys was set free in the area and buried an angle shot across Rodak and into the bottom corner.
Even after the goal, there was no discernible change in the pattern of play. The Millers continued to labour, with the boos at the end reflecting the frustration.
They’ll go again at MK Dons on Tuesday.
Millers: Rodak, Emmanuel (Palmer 77), Ajayi, Wood, Mattock, Forde (Williams 59), Vaulks, Towell, Newell, Ball, Smith.
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, McNulty, McGahey, Humphrys, Camps, Done, Inman, Delaney, Cannon, Henderson
Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire)
Attendance: 8,418 (399 visitors)