Rotherham’s difficulty with teams at the top of League Two continued at second-placed Cheltenham last night.
A goal after 10 minutes proved their undoing and once again the Millers, who built themselves up this season as promotion challengers, have been unable to topple one of the leading sides.
They gave it a real go in the second half but found a determined home side solid in their defending and they kept the Millers at bay, although substitute Brett Williams almost snatched an equaliser with 15 minutes to go.
A fine save denied him and meant the Millers returned home pointless.
The home side, with five across the midfield, looked confident as befits a side second top and unbeaten in their previous seven games.
They brushed off the fact that Rotherham had them under pressure in the opening moments and responded with a goal from their first real threat in the 10th minute.
It was a cracking strike too and offered no chance to Conrad Logan, who was on his final Millers’ appearance before returning to Leicester after this game.
Graham took on Tonge but the full back got in a successful challenge. However, the ball was diverted away outside the penalty area where midfielder Marlon Pack closed in and struck a fierce shot from 25 yards which flew into the far corner.
It boosted the home side even more and another long shot, this time from teenage left back Garbutt had Logan turning the effort over.
The home side were even closer a couple of minutes later. Low made ground on the right and set up a geat chance for Penn, which he miscued. It sent the ball bobbling towards Graham and he struck his shot right across the goal face and inches wide.
Rotherham were relieved to get through the early stages only a goal down and Cheltenham had given early evidence of why they have done so well this season.
Evans, switching to the left, cut in and fired over as Rotherham responded and then Grabban might have had an equaliser. He got half a yard on his marker but dragged his effort wide of the far post.
Revell almost cashed in on an error by Pack before Grabban fired narrowly over and it indicated Rotherham were capable of causing problems. But the home side were lively and might have had scored again.
On both occasions, it was Huddersfield loanee Spencer who wasted the opportunities, heading over from decent positons.
Although by no means outplayed Rotherham would have been relieved not to be more than a goal behind at half time and their early second half response saw Evans land a centre on to the top of the bar.
Then the Millers came close to an equaliser. From Tonge’s centre Raynes - despite almost having his shirt pulled off his back - headed into the six yard area but a fraction behind Grabban who was unable to get a proper connection.
The home side were reprieved and so were the Millers when the unmarked Spencer miskicked 12 yards out. He almost redeemed himself when hitting the outside of a post from 25 yards.
The home side added a third striker in the speedy Mohamed and with his first touch he brought a fine save from Logan from 18 yards,
Rotherham also put on a striker, Williams replacing Harley and he was so close to equalising minutes later.
* Cheltenham: Brown, Elliott, Bennett, Garbutt, Jombati, Pack, Low, (Mohamed 68) Penn, Graham, (Duffy 58) Summerfield, Spencer (Smikle 81.) Substitutes: Lowe, Goulding.
* Rotherham: Logan, Tonge, Mullins, Raynes, Harley, (Williams 70) Harrison, Evans, Schofield, Wood, Revell, Grabban. Substitutes: Warrington, Brown, Taylor, Holroyd.
* Ref: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)
* Attendance 3,583