AFTER their recent away problems, any old home win will do and that’s just about what it was for the Millers.
But the important thing is – they won.
A 58th minute goal on his home debut from on-loan Jamaican winger Omar Daley was the decisive breakthrough moment and enabled them to eke out three precious points that were clinched in the final minute of stoppage time when Adam Le Fondre scored his 20th goal of the season and his 50th for the club.
To be honest, you’d be hard pressed to say any other than Accrington should have won it in view of the chances they had in both halves.
But with second-placed Shrewsbury looming on the Don Valley Stadium horizon, the Millers – for whom this was a ninth game in 25 days and it showed –dug out a gritty performance and gratefully pocketed the points.
Whatever changes Ronnie Moore had intended, his mind was made up in three positions.
To the injured Ryan Taylor and the banned Callum Kennedy was added Ian Thomas-Moore after tweaking a hamstring in training on Monday.
It meant a last ditch effort to bring in a striker and they beat the noon deadline by landing 21-year-old Liam Henderson on a month’s loan from Watford.
Tall and of the ‘target man’ variety, he’d had three months on loan at Colchester and also been out at Hartlepool and Aldershot – but was still awaiting his first league goal. But he certainly gave it his all, never let Stanley’s back four rest and superbly set up the second goal.
With a reversion back to the normal formation, it meant Omar Daley started on the left for his home debut and Mark Randall missed out in midfield.
Certainly Rotherham weren’t the more cohesive outfit at the start and if the Millers needed a helping hand then they got one in just 50 seconds.
A lovely ball from Proctor was laid back on the volley by Gornell to set up a great chance for Craney but he put it wide of the near post.
It wasn’t a flash in the pan and Stanley, who always proved a competitive and awkward opposition, were proving more than that.
Eventually Rotherham managed a goal attempt after half-an-hour, but Mullins glanced a header wide from Law’s inswinging free-kick.
It sparked more threat with Marshall having a shot diverted over the top. Then the winger left his man trailing when he cut in and, with everyone expecting a shot deep in the area, he tried a trick and shed possession and, with it, a good opportunity.
Within five minutes Rotherham had made their first chance courtesy of a quick throw-in by Le Fondre.
Henderson spun at an angle but dragged his effort across the goal face.
Henderson, who worked tirelessly, was then involved in the decisive moment on 58 minutes.
He received a throw-in with his back to goal, tussled and forced his way round his marker. He certainly seemed to be bundled over as he did so and as he hit the ground there were pleas for a penalty. No, but in the ensuing scramble the ball was pushed away across the area towards the left where Daley swooped and struck a low left foot shot into the net.
Accrington then should have levelled but Gornell’s volley was thwarted by Warrington and two minutes later the Millers keeper excelled when pushing over a power drive from Joyce.
When, from the ensuing corner Edwards headed a close range chance over the top, Stanley probably realised it wasn’t to be their day.
The Millers kept repelling Stanley’s spirited efforts, with Fenton an inspiration, and the last attack they repelled came in the fourth (and last) minute of stoppage time and brought them a goal.
Daley cleared out to the left where Henderson held it up before nicely sliding a pass across for Le Fondre, who despatched a low first time shot from around the edge of the area to secure the victory for the Millers.
Rotherham Town: Warrington, Tonge, Mullins, Fenton, Newey; Marshall (Harrison 83), J Taylor, Law, Daley; Henderson, Le Fondre. Subs: Green, Ashworth, Bradley, Randall, Warne, Annerson.
Accrington Stanley: Dunbavin; Winnard, Edwards, Hessey, Jacobson; Ryan, Joyce, Proctor, Barnett (McConville 60), Craney (Putterill 85), Gornell. Subs: Cisak, Long, Lindfield, Murphy, Boulding.
Referee: Mark Brown (Hull).
Goals: Daley (58), Le Fondre (90+4).