Rotherham United claimed a second successive draw at Whaddon Road today, drawing 1-1 with Cheltenham Town despite leading for the majority of the game. A late Julian Alsop header cancelled out Adam Le Fondre's opener to break Rotherham's resistance.
The Millers began brightly, and could have been 2-0 up in the first six minutes; good work by Jamie Green on the left created a chance for Tom Pope, but the striker fired over from just inside the area.
Three minutes later, Nicky Law was given room to cross on the right, and amongst the penalty appeals for a suspected handball, Dale Tonge volleyed wide from 20 yards out.
Pope and Le Fondre were causing havoc in the Robins backline, and had another chance just moments later after Ian Sharps' forward pass wasn't cut out, but again Pope failed to hit the target.
Le Fondre's shot on the turn from a Law free-kick was lofted over the bar, and Pope hesitated in the area when he should have shot early after Le Fondre had forced Townsend into an error in the Cheltenham area.
On 23 minutes, Kevin Ellison picked up the ball on the halfway line, and his run took him to the edge of the area, but his left footed shot went just wide of Brown's goal. Ellison was involved again for the Millers next chance, Law's shot was deflected wide after Pope had created space in the area, but Ellison could only head wide from the resulting corner.
The home side persisted with their direct style, but neither Justin Richards, nor the well travelled Alsop could break down the Millers' back four.
Cheltenham were forced into two substitutions just before half time, before the breakthrough eventually came in first half stoppage time. Pope's long throw from the right was dropped by Brown, and Le Fondre was on hand to fire into the roof of the net before celebrating with the 300 travelling supporters.
Half time: Cheltenham 0-1 Millers
Cheltenham began the second half much better, creating two early chances, an Andy Gallinagh shot was blocked in the area before Michael Townsend's half chance was headed over from Josh Low's cross.
Despite keeping possession, the hosts were restricted mainly to shots from distance, midfielder David Bird firing over from 25 yards, before Elvis Hammond turned Sharps and hit a low effort which was comfortably saved by Andy Warrington.
The Millers first chance of the half came on 70 minutes, Green's free-kick headed at goal by Sharps, but the captain's effort was held by Brown. The Millers began to regain some of the momentum, Ellison caused trouble in the area, but was eventually blocked off by Townsend, and Pablo Mills shot from the edge of the area was caught by the 'keeper.
The closest the Millers came in the second half was from midfielder Danny Harrison, Green's cross was knocked down by Le Fondre, and the midfielder's volley cannoned off the post. Law should have sealed the game with five minutes remaining, Ellison's precise through ball putting him clear, but his side footed shot under Brown went just wide of the post.
Rotherham were punished for not putting the game beyond doubt just two minutes later. Substitute Theo Lewis' cross was met at the far post by Alsop, swooping in to head past Warrington.
The Millers will see this a two points dropped against a very direct Cheltenham side, but caretaker boss Steve Thornber will have a lot of positives to take, before the home game against Barnet at Don Valley next week.
Cheltenham 1 v 1 Millers
Cheltenham: Brown; Bird, Ridley, Townsend, Diallo, Gallinagh (Lewis 73), Richards (Hammond 45), Hutton, Low, Artus (Watkins 41), Alsop.
Subs not used: Durrant, Denton, Cox, Richardson.
Rotherham: Warrington; Tonge, Fenton, Sharps, Green, Law, Harrison, Mills, Ellison, Pope (R.Taylor 64), Le Fondre (Cummins 82).
Subs not used: Joseph, Lynch, Nicholas, Liddell, Annerson.
Report: Ben Shepherd