ROTHERHAM United crashed to a heavy defeat as old boy Tom Pope scored four goals against them at Port Vale.
The Millers went behind in only the fifth minute.
Noble was barged off the ball by Dodds and, with most people expecting a foul, the ref waved play on. He carried the ball into the Rotherham half before finding Pope who, in turn, slipped the ball aside to Myrie-Williams. His first time ball sent DODDS clear and he shot past the advancing Shearer.
Then the Millers, who have twice been 2-0 up in their home games, found out what it was like being on the receiving end when they conceded again in the 16th minute.
It followed a Millers attack from which Vale broke quickly. Rotherham checked the first problem but when Shuker was put in possession on the right he delivered a pin-point cross into the heart of the area and it was POPE who rose to plant a firm header beyond Shearer.
Vale made it 3-0 and it was POPE again. Rotherham were all over the place at the back as Vincent and Dodds made inroads before a short ball from Dodds set up a close-range finish for Pope.
With so much talk about the Millers and their promotion prospects, this start had been a reality check about how difficult this season will be.
The afternoon was turning into an absolute nightmare for the Millers and they conceded a fourth goal after 28 minutes.
Not for the first time this season, Rotherham were caught out on the break from one of their own corners. And it was simplicity itself because the ball was knocked out to VINCENT near halfway and he set off and ran on and on before firing inside Shearer’s near post.
The Millers look a shambles at the back, but there was relief when they pulled one back on 31 minutes. It was a swift break of their own started by Evans. Odejayi found Pringle who slipped the ball into the path of O’CONNOR and he calmly beat Neal.
Half-time: Port Vale 4 Millers 1.
Odejayi almost found a way through as Rotherham aimed to put their first-half problems behind them and they began to pass the ball around.
Then came some amazing refereeing which saw Rotherham denied what should have been a penalty, only for the referee to level things up immediately by giving the Millers a spot-kick. Firstly Nardiello was brought down by Shuker just inside the area. But referee Russell awarded the free-kick inches outside. O’Connor took the free kick, had a go for goal and it was blocked but the referee blew and gave Rotherham a penalty. Nobody knew what it was for. NARDIELLO stepped up to fire home the penalty.
Vale got their fifth and it was a hat-trick for POPE. A free-kick from the left looked to be going nowhere and O’Connor, trying to intercept, saw the ball loop off his head beyond Shearer and on to the far post. It rolled along the line to give Pope a simple tap-in.
With 12 minutes left Rotherham conceded a sixth. Mullins headed back to Morgan who tried to head back to his keeper only to leave it short. POPE cashed in by rolling the ball home for his fourth goal and he celebrated in front of the dismayed Millers fans.
Full-time: Port Vale 6 Millers 2.