THE Blades left it late - the sixth minute of stoppage time - when Ched Evans struck the winner, via a post, just as the Millers were contemplating a penalty shoot-out that would have been some reward for their return to form. It was cruel on them!
But Danny Wilson’s side, who led from the ninth minute through Chris Porter and had to do some solid defending thereafter, were galvanised after Alex Revell’s 69th minute equaliser which led to a concerted effort by the Blades to then try and finish off their League Two neighbours.
Rotherham responded well and could have won it themselves later on before Evans, weaved inside and then hit a left-footer from 20 yards - and still had time to be denied another by Andy Warrington in the ninth and final minute of stoppage time.
For the 4,000 Blades fans it meant they departed happy having been on another “new” ground.
Yes, the Blades have played at DVS before but this was the first competitive clash here with Rotherham and, barring being paired together in the FA Cup, the first and last opportunity to tick off Sheffield’s ‘other’ football ground.
Both managers made changes with Danny Wilson making four but fielding a strong side.
As expected Nick Montgomery made his return. In too came Ryan Flynn, Richard Creseswell and young keeper George Long, giving him an important taste in a game like a local derby.
Rotherham also had a change in goal with Warrington. With Johnny Mullins rested, midfielder Mark Bradley played in centre defence .
The other change saw Ben Pringle get an opportunity on the left.
Rotherham made the brighter start - in all but goalscoring! They had an early flurry, including a second minute scare for the visitors when Schofield nearly turned in a Newey cross at the near post.
After defending three corners, the Blades made it look so simple in their first foray into Rotherham’s half in the ninth minute.
Collins sent a header from deep. It was a straight duel between Porter and Raynes and as they tussled for possession, the striker got the better of it and fired a low shot inside the far post.
Rotherham’s response involved a superb move with Schofield and Harrison who found Grabban and his angled effort brought an excellent save from young Long.
There was an anxious moment for the Blades when Tonge went down what seemed inches inside the area. A penalty? The ref didn’t blow - but the linesman flagged. A penalty then? No. The ref put the ball as close to the line as he could get it!
A goal-saving clearance by Tonge prevented Lowton’s dangerous low centre reaching Cresswell and then Porter blazed over.
But with Rotherham making the running, Long came to the fore again, pushing away a fierce 22 yarder from Taylor.
Danny Wilson’s side scored in the ninth minute of the first half and were close to doing the same this half, Evans rattling the bar after cutting in from the left.
Grabban did well to engineer an opening for Pringle 10 yards out but Montgomery flew in to block the shot.
Rotherham suffered an injury blow when Bradley tackled Evans and stayed down with a dslocated shoulder.
On 69 minutes Rotherham were level. Taylor found Grabban, his shot hit the near post, rebounded away and Revell fired high into the net. The goal shook the Blades and a fine, full length, fingertip save from Warrington stopped Mendez-Laing’s effort r.
Rotherham could have gone in front with seven minutes to go. A superb move released Tonge, he cut the ball back for Schofield but he fired over the top as fans held their breath.
Then, with penalties looming, Evans sent the Blades through into the Northern Area quarter-finals.
ROTHERHAM UTD: Warrington; Tonge, Bradley (Mullins 60), Raynes, Newey; Schofield, Harrison, Taylor, Pringle; Revell (Holroyd 90+2), Grabban. Subs: Foster, Warne, Holroyd, Logan.
SHEFFIELD UTD: Long; Lowton, Maguire, Collins, Jean-Francois; Flynn, Montgomery, McDonald, Cresswell;
Evans, Porter (Mendez-Laing 55, Philliskirk 90+2). Subs: Parrino, McAllister, Philliskirk, Simonsen.