Rotherham United bounced back from their FA Cup defeat with a convincing 1-0 win at Crewe.
An own goal in the first half was enough to separate the two teams but in truth the Millers should have had more after a dominant performance.
Ronnie Moore was once again without regular 'keeper Andy Warrington so Jamie Annerson made his first league start for the Millers. The Millers boss also made two changes with Danny Coid replacing Luke Ashworth resulting in Johnny Mullins reverting to centre half, whilst Kevin Ellison replaced Stephen Brogan on the left side of midfield.
Inside the first minute the Millers had the home side under the kosh. A break down the right by Marcus Marshall caught out a static Crewe back four but his centre was cleared behind in the nick of time by David Artell with Adam Le Fondre lurking. From the resulting corner Ellison caught out the scrambling Rhys Taylor in the Crewe goal, and after pressure from Mark Bradley Adam Dugdale placed the ball into his own net to gift the Millers an early advantage.
The Millers continued to pour forward against a stunned Crewe. On five minutes Bradley showed great determination to win possession in midfield. His low centre found Ryan Taylor who turned smartly just inside the area, but his low shot was well held by Rhys Taylor.
Crewe's first chance came on eight minutes. Mullins misjudged a bouncing ball which allowed Shaun Miller a sight at goal but he dragged his shot well wide of Annerson's far post from the edge of the area.
The Millers were well on top and playing some enterprising and attractive football. On 12 minutes a fantastic double one-two between Le Fondre and Nicky Law had the midfielder in sight of goal, but when well placed to shoot he tried to cut the ball back for Taylor and the pass was intercepted.
Crewe gave a little warning to the Millers on 18 minutes when a chipped free kick found former Miller Artell in space but his header from12 yards was glanced wide. A minute later the Railwaymen should have been level. A counter attack caught the Millers short in defence with Miller playing Ashley Westwood through on goal, but after composing himself inside the area he fired wide of the far post.
Crewe now started to play and another glorious chance was missed on 24 minutes. The dangerous Clayton Donaldson wrestled his way clear on the edge of the area but his fierce drive was brilliantly beaten away by Annerson.
The game was now swinging one way and then another. On 28 minutes an inswinging free kick by Law was headed towards goal by Taylor via a deflection. The ball beat Rhys Taylor in the Crewe goal but he was saved by the crossbar with the ball running to safety.
Now it was the Millers who were looking more likely to extend their lead. On 30 minutes a Bradley header from a corner was almost touched home by Le Fondre, who then got a second chance from the loose ball but his acrobatic effort from 12 yards sailed over the bar.
On 38 minutes the Millers came close again. A cross from the right by Bradley was only cleared as far as Coid on the edge the area, but his drilled shot was deflected just wide with the 'keeper beaten.
Straight after the Millers swarmed forward again. Marshall was having an excellent game down the right but his time he popped up on the left before crossing low into the area, where Taylor prodded the ball just wide of the far post eight yards out.
Crewe Alexandra 0 v 1 Rotherham United
The Millers made a good start to the second half and had the home side penned inside their own half. On 53 minutes a great interception by Nick Fenton allowed Law to break down the left but his low cross went right across the six yard box just eluding Taylor.
A minute later another chance was created. A superb incisive pass by Marshall split the Crewe defence, Ellison ran through on goal but his shot from the angle was well saved by Rhys Taylor, with the rebound almost favouring Le Fondre whose follow up was blocked.
On the hour mark Dugdale almost redeemed himself after his first half own goal with Crewe's first chance of the second half. After Marshall had given the ball away it was laid for Dugdale to strike from 25 yards and his thunderbolt shot flashed just over Annerson's goal.
On 76 minutes the Millers were awarded a penalty after a cross towards the back post was headed into the direction of the goal by Le Fondre. Patrick Ada blocked the ball with his arm leaving referee Neil Swarbrick no option but to give a spot kick. Unfortunately for the Millers Le Fondre was denied by a superb save by Rhys Taylor who diverted the penalty kick onto the post, diving to his right.
With six minutes remaining a dangerous corner by Law was only half cleared to Bradley whose drive rebounded to Taylor, but his shot on the turn was well held by Rhys Taylor.
Still the Millers looked dangerous going forward and another half chance was created on 87 minutes. The impressive Marshall back-heeled the ball to Law who surged into the area but he curled his shot just over the bar.
Crewe Alexandra 0 v 1 Rotherham United
Crewe: Taylor; Tootle (Blanchett 58), Artell, Ada, Westwood, Dugdale, Bell, Murphy, Moore, Miller, Donaldson.
Subs not used: Phillips, Grant, Shelley, Davis, Powell, Mellor
Rotherham: Annerson; Coid, Mullins, Fenton, Newey, Marshall, Law, Bradley, Ellison (Warne 82), R. Taylor, Le Fondre.
Subs not used: Harrison, J.Taylor, Pope, Brogan, Green, Ashworth.
Attendance: 4, 301 (407).