The Millers suffered a second consecutive defeat at the hands of Southend United at Roots Hall.An early goal from Blair Sturrock proved the difference, and to make matters worse, loan signing Mark Randall lasted just 20 minutes after being forced off with a shoulder injury.
Ronnie Moore made three changes from last Saturday's defeat against Wycombe. New loan signing Randall was given his debut alongside Jason Taylor in midfield, whilst Nick Fenton shook off a calf injury to replace Luke Ashworth.There was also a first start of the season for Ryan Taylor, who replaced Tom Pope in attack.
The Millers had the first half chance on four minutes when Exodus Geohaghon launched a trademark long throw, which was flicked on by Ryan Taylor into the path of Adam Le Fondre who volleyed over.
Southend then took the lead with the first opportunity of the game on five minutes. Josh Simpson took advantage of a Tom Newey slip to cross into the near post which was flicked into the top corner by Sturrock.
The Millers were second best in all departments and were being constantly harassed and out-muscled in midfield and attack. They were given a half chance on 17 minutes when awarded a free kick 20 yards from goal but Nicky Law curled his shot high and wide of Glenn Morris's crossbar.
On 21 minutes the Millers were dealt a huge blow when Randall was forced off with a shoulder injury after a rattling challenge on the edge of the area.
On 28 minutes the Millers could have been level. A Law corner was flicked on by Ryan Taylor but Geohaghon headed wide when Fenton was in a better position to score.
Just after the half hour mark a defensive mistake from Law gifted possession to Anthony Grant, but his shot from inside the area was narrowly wide under pressure from Fenton.
The Millers improved, however, and finished the half strongly.Substitute Danny Harrison fed Law down the right flank on 35 minutes, and his cross to the far post was hit first time by Kevin Ellison, but Morris made a comfortable save to his right.
Southend United 1 v 0 Rotherham United
Southend started the second period brightly as they looked to consolidate their lead.Three minutes into the second half they should have doubled their advantage.The lively Ryan Hall made good progress down the left, and his dangerous centre was headed wide from six yards by Barry Corr, who was under pressure from Fenton.
Five minutes later Southend threatened in the air again.The cross again came from the left - this time from Peter Gilbert - but Bilel Mohsni headed wide with Andy Warrington grasping at thin air.
The Millers struggled to impose themselves in midfield and created very little in front of goal.If anything, Southend looked more likely to extend their lead, which they should have done on the hour mark.The Millers left Corr unmarked at a set piece, but from eight yards he again headed wide of the target.
Moore tried to change things soon after with the introduction of the in-form Marcus Marshall for Ellison, but this did little to stem the tide of Southend's attacks.Corr again was in the thick of the action with 12 minutes remaining, but when through on goal Warrington made an excellent one-handed stop low to his left.
The most likely route back into the game for the Millers came from the long throw of Geohaghon, but even when the first ball was won, Southend were always quickest to react to any potential danger.
Southend United: Morris; Clohessy, Gilbert, Barker (Coughlan 80), Mohsni, Grant, Timlin, Simpson, Hall (Crawford 86), Sturrock (Soares 86), Corr.
Subs not used: Zaaboub, Prosser, Fairhurst, Evans.
Rotherham United: Warrington; Mullins, Fenton, Geohaghon, Newey, Law (Pope 85), Randall (Harrison 21), J. Taylor, Ellison (Marshall 70), R. Taylor, Le Fondre.
Subs not used: Ashworth, Warne, Bradley, Annerson.