Wiles nets late Millers winner...
Substitute Ben Wiles was the Rotherham United hero as his injury-time winner turned a tight Roses affair with Accrington Stanley, in their favour and boosted their automatic promotion hopes in the process.
In windy conditions at the Wham Stadium, the Lancastrians marginally had the better of the first 45 but Rotherham were rewarded for a strong start to the second half when Ladapo put them ahead, but Clark burst their bubble by equalising almost immediately.
With both sides looking set to claim a share of the spoils, Rotherham returned over the Pennines with maximum points, in dramatic circumstances, when Wiles calmly glanced Dan Barlaser’s cross into the home net, to send the Millers fans into ecstasy.
Following their draw with AFC Wimbledon last time out, Millers chief Paul Warne made two changes to his starting line-up.
Experienced left-back Joe Mattock and Matt Olosunde returned to the full-back positions with Adam Thompson and Ben Wiles having to settle for substitute berths.
The home side had the first sight of goal when Joe Pritchard fought hard to win possession but his ambitious shot from distance was blocked by a retreating Millers defender.
In Rotherham’s first foray of note, Barlaser curled in a free-kick which saw Matt Crooks rise highest but he was unable to control his header before Clark hooked over, at the other end, after Benny Ashley-Seal was denied initially.
Just past the quarter hour, Hakeeb Adelakun dragged an effort wide from a promising position before the Millers were indebted to Olosunde for preserving parity when Sam Finley clipped the ball over the top and Dion Charles kept his nerve to dink the ball over the advancing Iversen but as he looked to slot the ball into the unguarded net, the American full-back came out of nowhere to divert his goalbound effort to safety.
Either side of the half-hour mark, Michael Smith curled a shot into the grateful hands of Josef Bursik before Clark got the better of Mattock to present Charles with the chance to strike, but he blazed his shot over.
With half-time approaching, Ajibola Alese tried his luck from distance but Iversen was his equal with a fine save, at full stretch.
Half-time- Accrington Stanley 0 Rotherham United 0
With the Millers attacking the large travelling hordes behind the goal, Warne’s side started the half stronger when Smith flashed a centre across the face of goal before they forced back-to-back corners which were safely negotiated by the home side.
Moments later, Barlaser became the first to see yellow for felling Charles in full flow before the former Accrington player almost went from villain to hero when he latched onto Chiedozie Ogbene’s pull-back to drill a low shot goalwards but Bursik smothered his effort at his near post.
On the hour mark, the lively Clark blazed a shot narrowly over from a tight angle before Olosunde embarked on a barnstorming run from deep which ended with a scuffed cross which Smith was unable to turn goalwards.
However, Accrington’s relief was only temporary as Barlaser floated the resulting corner into the danger area and Ihiekwe emerged from the ruck of bodies in the box to head across goal and Ladapo was on hand to fire into the roof of the net from close range.
Rotherham’s joy proved short-lived as Accrington equalised almost immediately when Ashley-Seal burst into the box before his run was halted and with the home fans appealing for a spot kick, the ball was played to the far post and with Mattock in no position to intervene, Clark fired a shot into the ground and the ball found the corner of the net, to the disappointment of all those with a Rotherham persuasion.
The Millers responded positively to the setback and Crooks blasted over wastefully before skipper Richard Wood, in typical bulldozing fashion, was determined to meet Barlaser’s corner, but he headed narrowly over.
With the game heading for a draw, Rotherham showed their never-say-die spirit when they broke Stanley’s resistance following a period of pressure when Barlaser caressed a centre into the home box and Wiles timed his run to perfection to glance a header into the corner of the goal.
In further late drama, sub Offrande Zanzala headed over with the Millers goal at his mercy before Crooks smashed an effort against the crossbar, in the last act before the Millers fans saluted their players, at the final whistle.
Full-time- Accrington Stanley 1 Rotherham United 2
Accrington Stanley 1
Rotherham United 2
Teams:- Accrington- Bursik, Johnson, Hughes, Sykes, Clark, Finley, Pritchard (Zanzala 90), Conneely, Charles (Bishop 80), Alese, Ashley-Seal (Grant 80). Unused- Savin, Maguire, Barclay, Diallo.
Rotherham- Iversen, Mattock, Wood, Vassell (Wiles 70), Barlaser, Adelakun (Ladapo 61), Crooks, Ogbene, Ihiekwe, Olosunde, Smith (Koroma 81). Unused- Price, MacDonald, Thompson, Lindsay.
Referee- S Stockbridge
Attendance- 3447 (1577)