A last-gasp 20-yard strike from Alex Revell gave Rotherham United a 2-1 victory over Leyton Orient.
They arrived having won their last four and unbeaten in six, as top scorers (58) by a distance and having scored 32 away from home, far better than anyone else.
So, it was no surprise that Russell Slade’s side began with an air of confidence. Cox twice was a threat and lifted a 20 yarder beyond the angle on the second occasion.
On a blustery day, Alnwick completely misjudged Pringle’s free-kick and the ball, luckily for the keeper, drifted wide of the empty net.
But the next telling Pringle centre saw the Millers take a ninth minute lead.
Pringle had his right side corner cleared. Frecklington returned the ball out to him, he took a touch before curling a superb, inswinging centre towards the six yard area where THOMAS got in front of his marker to glance his header beyond Alnwick.
It was his first goal for the club.
There was an anxious moment for Davis when he made a full-blooded challenge on Simpson and stayed down and needed treatment to his ankle before continuing.
There was danger when Cox forced a sharp save from Collin and Simpson’s overhead kick went straight into the keeper’s arms.
Then Pringle delivered another wicked free-kick and Bradley got the merest of touches as it flashed just wide. It had been an excellent start all round.
The wind was making aerial judgement difficult but it was the quality of Cox’s free kick which caused anxiety before Arnason just cleared from Simpson six yards out.
Revell, receiving from Thomas, struck an instant 30 yarder and almost surprised Alnwick who saved a full stretch.
A tremendous challenge by Baudry eight yards out blocked an goalbound shot from Agard whose pace then saw him go clear onto Revell’s pass down the right. It demanded the instant low centre into the path of Thomas moving into the area but Agard tried to take on a defender and only a corner resulted.
Both sides were closing down very quickly but both, too, were responding superbly. Both defences were being forced into some stern defending at times and there were threats at both ends.
Steve Evans had said these were the two hardest-working sides in the division and you could see why he said that!
As befits a side with their goalscoring record, Orient got lots of men forward and Cox should have done better with a chance from 18 yards which he drilled wide.
The visitors had a spell on top in the final stages of what had been an enthralling first half. An Orient corner brought another one and this time Collin made a confident catch.
A change at half-time saw Thomas replaced by Hitchcock, as Orient began the second half on top.
Dagnall had a shot blocked before Davis took a wild swing at the ball, missed and connected with Odubajo. He got a yellow card and Orient were pleading for a red.
The strength of the wind showed when Alnwick made a clearance kick, the ball swirled up in the air outside the area, blew back and bounced onto the roof of the net at the North End.
Then came a great chance for a Millers second goal, as Hitchcock’s shot was deflected wide by the inside of Alnwick’s leg.
A great break by the Millers saw Tavernier’s centre cleared by Cuthbert in front of goal. Then tremendous defending by Orient, with Vincelot throwing himself into the fray, halted real danger from a Pringle centre.
It remained a tremendous tussle between two committed sets of players and was competitive and combative all over the pitch.
Orient were pressing all over the pitch and they levelled with their first clear-cut chance.
A ball down the left found Dagnall whose cross cleared everyone and reached ODUBAJO. He controlled it and fired high into the net.
Collin was really alert and sharp off his line when a breakout exposed Rotherham. Dagnall looked favourite but it turned into a 50-50 tackle just outside the area and Collin bravely won it.
A last-ditch header from Cuthbert denied Pringle, but the ground erupted right at the end of stoppage time when REVELL’s measured, low 20 yarder found the bottom corner for a dramatic end, to seal a great win for the Millers.