Rotherham United beat Northampton Town 1-0 at Don Valley Stadium to end a four match losing streak.
Andy Warrington saved a penalty in the first half before Adam Le Fondre scored the only goal of the game from the spot in the second half. Referee Karl Evans dismissed Craig Hinton and Luke Guttridge for the visitors, with Danny Harrison also seeing red for the Millers.
Ronnie Moore made three changes to the side that was beaten at Morecambe on Saturday. Gavin Gunning returned at left back in place of Mark Lynch, whilst Kevin Ellison and Nicky Law returned to the midfield in place of Abdulai Bell-Baggie and Drewe Broughton who dropped to the bench. Marcus Marshall reverted to centre forward alongside Le Fondre.
The Millers had the best of a quiet start and the returning Ellison found room in behind the Cobblers defence but his header hit the side netting.
On 19 minutes Gunning was left writhing in agony after a late challenge by Paul Rodgers, who was booked, following treatment Gunning was fit to return to the field.
Three minutes later and Josh Walker almost caught out Cobblers 'keeper Jason Steele with a rasping 25 yard drive but the on loan stopper saved at the second attempt.
The Millers drove forward again on 24 minutes. This time it was Harrison who broke from midfield but his 20 yarder was dragged well wide.
After a quiet spell the game came alive when Northampton won a penalty on 35 minutes. A dart into the area by Guttridge resulted in a trip by Pablo Mills and the referee pointed to the spot. Ryan Gilligan stepped up and drove the ball to Warrington's left but the Millers number one went the right way and palmed the ball wide.
Rotherham United 0 v 0 Northampton Town
The Millers started the second half brightly and tested Steele soon after the restart. A Law corner was cleared as far as Mills on the edge of the area, whose scuffed shot forced the 'keeper to make a save low to his right.
The visitors responded and Warrington was tested by John Johnson from 25 yards, but the Millers 'keeper made a comfortable save.
On 55 minutes Johnson came close again after bursting past two challenges and unleashing a powerful effort from 18 yards.Warrington was down to his left quickly and tipped wide.
With 63 minutes on the clock the Millers were awarded a penalty. Marshall found Le Fondre with a superb pass, and as the Millers marksman was about to pull the trigger he was brought down by Hinton. Mr. Evans pointed to the spot and dismissed Hinton for a professional foul. After vociferous Northampton protests, Le Fondre stepped up and beat Steele to give the Millers the lead.
The Millers strikers linked up again soon after, with Le Fondre releasing Marshall, but the loanee missed the chance to double the lead as Steele tipped wide.
With 15 minutes remaining referee Evans was involved again, as he dismissed Harrison for a two-footed lunge on Guttridge. A brawl followed as Guttridge reacted badly, and he quickly followed Harrison down to tunnel to leave 10 facing nine.
As nine-man Northampton pushed forward in search of an equaliser the Millers almost struck on the break. Marshall carried the ball into the box and cut back onto his right foot before smashing the ball high and wide with Le Fondre well-placed to receive a cross.
Abdulai Bell-Baggie was introduced and his pace caused problems for the weary visitors' defence. He carried the ball from inside his own half and shot from 18 yards, but Steele made another smart save to deny the young winger.
The visitors pressed in the closing stages but failed to test Warrington as the Millers recorded a vital win in the race for promotion.
Rotherham: Warrington; Fenton, Sharps, Mills, Gunning, Law (Bell-Baggie 65), Harrison, Walker, Ellison, Marshall, Le Fondre.
Subs not used: Annerson, Lynch, Green, Broughton, McAllister, Cummins.
Northampton: Steele; Rodgers (Thornton 59), Hinton, Beckwith, Johnson, Gilbert, Guttridge, Osman, Gilligan, Guinan (Harris 80), McKay (Herbert 70).
Subs not used: Dunn, Dyer, Curtis, Davis.
Att: 3,325 (431).