‘Bordering on outstanding...’ – Paul Warne pleased with Rotherham United’s performance despite dropped points
Michael Smith's fifth goal in seven games gave the Millers a half-time lead, but they were pegged back in the second half by Lewis Fiorini's leveller.
But Warne's side did everything they could to regain the lead and go home with the points but came up against inspired Imps goalkeeper Josh Griffiths, who admitted after the game he was “a bit busy”.
He denied Smith twice and also Kieran Sadlier in a man-of-the-match display.
Warne was obviously disappointed his side could not get the breakthrough their dominance deserved, but was happy with what he saw.
“I thought our performance was bordering on outstanding – it was one of the most enjoyable games I have seen since becoming manager of this club,” he said.
“We were very good and I don’t think anyone in the stadium could have begrudged us a second goal.
“I shook Chris Maguire’s hand afterwards and he said it was ‘absolute daylight robbery’ and that’s how it felt.
“Their goalkeeper got man of the match, he made some great saves, but we just needed that second goal and unfortunately we didn’t get it.
“We played at the sort of level that, if I was a football fan, I would want us to be playing at. “We had 20 shots away from home against a very good side, with a lively crowd, but no-one misses on purpose, although it is frustrating we didn’t take our chances.”
Smith fired the Millers ahead in the 22nd minute, with the big striker slamming home Freddie Ladapo’s cross.
The Imps got back on level terms 10 minutes after the break when former Miller Chris Maguire threaded a ball through to Fiorini and as the Millers defence parted, he strode through to drive the ball past Viktor Johansson.
Griffiths, who had kept out Smith and Ollie Rathbone in the first half, then produced a couple of superb saves from Smith and he also denied Sadlier as the Imps managed to cling on.