Late leveller silences the Rotherham United dressing room
ROTHERHAM UNITED manager Paul Warne admits that the Millers' dressing room felt as quiet as it had ever been in his tenure after a stoppage-time leveller from lowly AFC Wimbledon denied the table-topping Millers a ninth win in ten matches in a dramatic 2-2 draw.
Second-half goals from Matt Crooks and substitute Freddie Ladapo - who netted seven minutes from time - looked like securing a sixth successive home league win for Rotherham, who trailed at half-time following a stunning goal on the half-hour from Dons midfielder Max Sanders - his first in professional football.
But just when the Millers looked like registering another key win amid a frenzied and congested battle for automatic promotion, the Dons produced a dramatic finale and levelled thanks to a controversial penalty in the third minute of stoppage-time from substitute Kwesi Appiah - awarded following a perceived foul in the box from Millers captain Richard Wood on Joe Pigott.
Despite the punishing late development, Warne admirably retained a sense of perspective and took succour from a performance which he felt surpassed the Millers' efforts in their previous two games against Lincoln and Burton, which both yielded victories.
Warne, whose Millers side still lead the way in League One on goal difference, said: "I thought we were really good and I was really pleased with how we played.
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"I thought we played better than we did in the two previous games and created enough chances to win the game comfortably.
"We did not take them and you are always susceptible to a sucker-punch. We needed that third goal.
"Freddie got us back in the game and we took the lead and when you are in the ninety-odd minute, you think that will be enough and it was obviously disappointing to concede so late on and it is our job to pick the lads up.
"The dressing room was the quietest I have ever seen it and they know it was one of those games that got away.
"But we have played poorly at times and won, which is not fair to the other teams.
“This was a day where I thought we played well and did everything we tried to do and were nice and patient on the ball at times.”