This game followed an all too-familiar pattern for the Millers in their home games - a pulsating first half and then a second half that doesn’t get anywhere near their earlier standard.
But no one could have predicted what would happen in the 12th additional minute, nine being added (due to a long injury break) onto the six indicated, with Rotherham missing a penalty that would have been the equaliser and then, from the resulting corner, Coventry sweeping upfield for Carl Baker to make it 3-1 with a shot from near halfway bouncing into an unguarded net because keeper Adam Collin had gone up for the corner.
But a major talking point was the Coventry equaliser on 69 minutes when Craig Morgan tripped Callum Wilson outside the penalty area only for a linesman to indicate it was inside. Morgan, correctly, was sent off and Baker equalised from the spot. Millers manager Steve Evans even brought a laptop into the Press room afterwards to show that the foul was outside the area.
“It is a shocking decision and one of the worst I have ever seen,” said a furious Evans. “It was outside the ‘D’ on the edge of the area.
“It is a big decision, a game changing moment... shocking, bad, ridiculous and the players are appalled. But, whilst we played very well in the first half, we did not play well in the second half.”
It was Michael O’Connor who had the stoppage time chance to rescue a point after a linesman spotted shirt tugging at a free-kick.
However, his ex-Scunthorpe teammate Joe Murphy saved the spot kick. A corner resulted ending with Coventry breaking away for the third goal. It means Rotherham have won just one of their last eight home league games.
This one certainly should have been a win because they overwhelmed Coventry in the first half but, largely due to some brilliant goalkeeping, had only one goal to show for it.
In a blistering start and there should certainly have been goals in the opening 20 minutes. Blair Adams struck the inside of the far post after just three minutes and then Rotherham, and particularly keeper Joe Murphy, took over.
After a goal saving intervention by Carl Baker, he produced spectacular saves from Rob Milsom and James Tavernier, both from 22 yards.
Then Kari Arnason hooked a great first time ball, Tavernier came in alone at the far post with all the goal to aim at and Murphy - and he struck the keeper’s legs.
He then denied Frecklington and the Millers were irresistible. Arnason sent a header just wide from a corner and Kieran Agard was a whisker away from turning home a Milsom centre.
Something had to give and Rotherham finally got what they’d threatened on 34 minutes, Joe Skarz netting with a deflected shot after Tavernier’s switched free-kick.
But Rotherham wilted in the second half, barely threatened and Coventry picked up but barely threatened too until the game changing penalty moment.
The visitors went 2-1 up with six minutes left, with Christie’s header diverted in by Arnason.
ROTHERHAM UNITED: Collin; Bradley, Morgan, Arnason, Skarz; Tavernier, Frecklington, Milsom (O’Connor 62), Agard; Vuckic (Mills 70), Revell.
Subs not used: Shearer, Brindley, Worrall, Tidser, Tubbs.
coventry city: Murphy; Christie, Webster, Willis, Adams; Baker, Thomas (Barton 90+9), Daniels, Moussa (Phillips 88); Clarke, Wilson (Dagnall 77).
Subs not used: Haynes, Urquhart, Garner, Burge.
goals: Skarz (34) for Rotherham; Baker (70 pen, 90+12), Arnason og (84) for Coventry.