ROTHERHAM UNITED 2 ROCHDALE 3: Millers beaten by plucky Dale

Gareth Evans fires the ball forward for the Millers.
Gareth Evans fires the ball forward for the Millers.
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ROTHERHAM United lost 3-2 at the New York Stadium after conceding two goals in five minutes late in the match against Rochdale.

With a 100 per cent home league record at their new home ground, which included no goals conceded, the Millers were looking to make the second match of manager Steve Evans’ six game suspension another successful one.

Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Torquay should have been by a greater margin but assistant boss, Paul Raynor, who is in charge of team affairs while Evans is banned from the stadium during matchdays, kept faith with the same team.

Winger Gareth Evans was the first to try his look as he effort from outside the penalty box flew wide of Josh Lillis’s right hand post.

Evans seemed intent on being the first scorer of the night as two more strikes went over the bar before Dale’s Andrew Tutte forced Scott Shearer into an easy save.

However, Shearer was less sure moments later as he let Bobby Grant through only to see Millers skipper Ian Sharps save on the line with Craig Morgan blocking the follow up.

In the aftermath Shearer was booked for handling outside the box as Grant had burst through.

It looked like the teams would go in at half time level but Dele Adebola put the visitors in front in first half injury time after latching on to a Phil Edwards pass.

Evans, who had looked lively early on, made way for Lionel Ainsworth at half time.

Millers had started the second half well and a succession of shots from Kayode Odejayi, Ben Pringle, and Ainsworth tested the resolve of the Rochdale defence.

Paul Raynor made his second change of the night with Daniel Nardiello replacing Odejayi on 56 minutes.

A deserved equaliser for Rotherham came just before the hour as Alex Revell headed home Dale Tonge’s cross for his second goal in two matches.

And the comeback was complete five minutes later when substitute Nardiello tucked the ball home from close range after good work by Revell.

However the lead lasted less than 10 minutes as Revell tripped Jason Kennedy in the box and Grant sent Shearer the wrong way from the penalty spot.

The visitors went back in front on 79 minutes when a one-two between Kevin McIntyre and Ray Putterill ended with McIntyre curling home from 18 yards.

Kieran Agard for Nicky Hunt on 82 minutes as the Millers searched for an equaliser.

And it nearly came by Sharps headed wide from Ben Pringle’s cross.

ROTHERHAM UTD: Shearer; Hunt, Sharps, Morgan, Tonge; Evans, Taylor, O’Connor, Pringle; Odejayi, Revell. Subs: Warrington, Mullins, Ainsworth, Bradley, Nardiello, Agard, Rose.

ROCHDALE: Lillis; Rafferty, R Edwards, P Edwards, Bennett; Tutte, Kennedy, McIntyre; Grant; Adebola, Donnelly. Subs: Barry-Murphy, Grimes, Putterill, Pearson, Curran, Crainey, Smith.

Referee: Steve Martin.

*Read Les Payne’s assessment in Wednesday’s Star