SUB Kaiyne Woolery’s last gasp strike for Bolton Wanderers saw Rotherham United return over the Pennines empty-handed.
The Millers were rocked early on when Jay Spearing netted after just 85 seconds but Burke’s calm finish levelled matters just shy of half time.
New signing Andrew Shinnie came close to putting the Millers ahead before Woolery struck in the dying minutes after Lee Camp had denied Mark Davies.
Following last week’s defeat at the hands of Charlton Athletic, the Millers made three changes to their starting line-up for the visit to Lancashire.
Experienced centre-half Richard Wood made his first start at the heart of the Millers rearguard since the end of the last season as Farrend Rawson had to settle for a substitutes berth.
Frazer Richardson was recalled to the right back slot at the expense of Shay Facey while new signing Shinnie was handed his full Millers debut following his cameo appearance against the Addicks.
The hosts were quick out of the blocks and they stunned the visitors faithful when they scored with their first foray of note in just the second minute.
After Richie Smallwood conceded the corner, Liam Feeney floated a centre which was not dealt with decisively by the Rotherham rearguard and Mark Davies showed good awareness to pull the ball back instead of shooting from a tight angle and Spearing took advantage to fire a rising shot from the edge of the box which flew into the roof of the visitors goal.
The Millers responded positively to the setback and Kirk Broadfoot’s floated ball was inches away from putting Burke in the clear before Danny Ward had the visitors first shot in anger when he stung the palms of Ben Amos with a daisycutter from distance.
Moments later, Dean Moxey’s error presented Shinnie with the opportunity of advancing with menace towards the Bolton box and with Burke’s run taking away a retreating defender, the Trotters defence split open, but the Scottish international could only toe-poke an effort narrowly wide of the target.
The Millers were penning the hosts deep into their own half and Joe Newell latched onto Burke’s cross to drill an effort which was blocked en-route to goal by Dorian Dervite before Smallwood pounced on the loose ball to fire a low effort which had Amos scurrying across goal as it shaved the home upright.
At the other end, Dervite got on the end of Feeney’s tantalising free-kick but he couldn’t control his header as it flew harmlessly wide before Smallwood’s free-kick saw Broadfoot rise highest to knock the ball down into the path of Shinnie, who looked a likely scorer, but he scuffed his effort wide although his blushes were spared by the offside flag.
Just before the half-hour, Bolton turned defence into attack with the blink of an eye and Feeney’s swinging cross was met by the head of Davies, whose glancing header flashed past the upright before the Millers had their hearts in their mouths moments later when the hosts had a goal chalked off for offside.
Feeney was again the provider to slide the ball into the feet of Emile Heskey, who cleverly worked a yard on his marker, to drill an effort which was smartly saved by Camp, but the ball rolled tantalisingly into the path of Wellington Silva, who tapped home into the unguarded net- but his joy soon turned to despair when the flag was raised.
Moments later, Newell showed fleet of foot before being tripped by Josh Vela on the edge of the box but the ex-Peterborough midfielder failed to make it count from the resultant free-kick when he curled an effort over.
The Millers missed an opportunity to level matters when Newell skilfully exchanged passes with Shinnie to burst into the box but despite just having Amos to beat, the home keeper stood up tall to block his goalbound effort.
However, Neil Redfearn’s men did not have wait long to level matters when a fine flowing move saw Danny Ward get on the wrong side of the Trotters defence to plant a cross, which may have been aimed at Shinnie, but the ball fell kindly for the onrushing Burke, who cleverly scooped the ball over Amos and into the home goal.
Half-time:- Bolton Wanderers 1 Rotherham United 1
The visitors had the first sight of goal following the interval when Danny Ward shrugged off the attentions of his marker on the edge of the box but he skied his effort over the bar before Dervite emerged from the ruck of the bodies to meet Feeney’s corner at the other end but his header failed to trouble Camp.
Just before the hour mark, the Millers missed a gilt-edged chance to take the lead when Richardson floated a cross which saw Newell knock the ball down into the path of Shinnie, who was in acres of space, but he failed to make a clean connection with the goal at his mercy as Amos parried the ball to safety.
Minutes later, Joe Mattock became the first to see yellow for a cynical lunge on Wellington on the edge of the box before the Brazilian almost exacted revenge with a snap shot from distance which was deflected over the Rotherham bar.
In the home side’s next attack, sub Liam Trotter headed over from Feeney’s outswinging corner before the Millers had Wood to thank for blocking Vela’s low cross-cum-shot.
With the game in the balance, Newell’s threaded ball gave sub Jonson Clarke-Harris a glimpse of goal but Dervite put his body on the line to block his powerful goalbound effort before the home defender stuck out a timely leg to snuff out Shinnie in the Millers next attack.
The visitors were looking the most likely winners and Shinnie’s delicate cross saw Clarke-Harris nod the ball into the path of Wood, who attempted a bicycle kick, but his effort lacked power as Amos smothered the danger.
With time running out, Rotherham had faint appeals for a spot kick when firstly Shinnie’s strike was seemingly blocked by the arm of Dean Moxey before Broadfoot took a tumble in the box from the resultant corner but referee Stuart Attwell waved away their appeals.
Newell saw yellow for a clumsy tackle before Bolton snatched the points when a clever throughball saw Davies one-on-one with Camp and although the Millers ‘keeper kept out his effort, the ball rolled tantalisingly into the path of Woolery, who kept his nerve to slide the ball into the empty net.
Full-time:- Bolton Wanderers 2 Rotherham United 1
Bolton Wanderers 2
Rotherham United 1
Teams:- Bolton- Amos, Moxey, Dervite, Vela, Spearing, Feeney, Davies, Heskey (Trotter 64), Pratley (Dobbie 84), Silva (Woolery 81), Holding. Unused- Rachubka, Osede, Danns, Twardzik.
Rotherham- Camp, Richardson, Broadfoot, Wood, Mattock, Burke (Green 69), Smallwood, G Ward, Newell, Shinnie, D Ward (Clarke-Harris 77). Unused- Cairns, Dawson, Belaid, Derbyshire, Rawson
Referee- S Attwell
Attendance- 14641 (1348)