Late heartbreak for the Millers at Turf Moor...
10-man Rotherham United were beaten in the cruellest of fashions by table-toppling Burnley, who scored two goals in added time to win 3-2.
The Millers were ahead going into 10 minutes added time thanks to goals from Ben Wiles and Chiedozie Ogbene, either side of Jay Rodriguez’s equaliser in the first half.
The away side had put in an epic display against one of the league’s best sides and were forced to play out the final 15 minutes plus stoppage time a man light, when Cohen Bramall was sent off after being shown to yellow cards in quick succession.
Matt Taylor again shuffled the pack heading into the game, as Grant Hall regained his place after serving a suspension, replacing Richard Wood. Brooke Norton-Cuffy also made a return to action as Wes Harding shifted to centre back, replacing Cameron Humphreys who misses out due to injury concerns. The starting line-up also saw Hakeem Odoffin named for Georgie Kelly.
The Millers made a dream start when Wiles found the net with just two minutes and 13 seconds on the clock. Bramall fed Ollie Rathbone who played the ball out wide for Norton-Cuffy, who burst down the wing and delivered a perfect cross to the back post, which was headed home by the stand-in skipper.
The division’s top-scorers were never going to surrender easily, though and the Millers survived their first scare of the night on seven minutes. A string of resultant corners saw an inswinger fall into a crowded box, where it was cannoned towards goal from close range, but defensive heroics from the returning Grant Hall ensured Rotherham lead was kept intact when he cleared off the line.
Energetic pressing from the front saw the Millers win the ball back in the Burnley half through Cohen Bramall. The pacey wing-back then managed to cut inside and fashion a cross towards Odoffin, but the ball was delivered slightly too high for the midfielder at full stretch.
Dogged determination from Conor Washington nearly paid dividends as the forward robbed a Burnley defender, and then proceeded to knock it past the final man. He then directed a powerful low effort towards Muric’s near-post, where the fully extended keeper narrowly got a hand to it to keep the Millers’ lead at one.
Seconds later, the home side were level. Gudmundsson floated a cross from the right flank which was touched back across goal by Tella to give Rodrigues the simplest of tasks, nodding in under the bar from close range.
More Millers heroics followed moments later, when Rathbone was on hand to clear Nathan Tella’s goalbound effort off the line and away to safety, before Rodriguez headed just off target.
HALF TIME: BURNLEY 1 – 1 ROTHERHAM
A late Halloween scare for the Millers occurred early in the second half, as an ever-threatening Anass Zaroury swung a cross towards goal. The curling ball nearly caught out Johansson, but an acrobatic diving catch ensured the scores were kept level.
A sturdy Millers rearguard had come under sustained pressure in the second half but stunned their opponents on 64 minutes when substitute Chiedozie Ogbene raced through on goal tucked the ball past Muric, with the ball kissing the far post before trickling over the line.
As if it wasn’t tough enough, the task was made even harder when Cohen Bramall was dismissed in quick succession for two yellow cards. The second of which was a late tackle on Conor Roberts having received his first caution following a challenge opposite the Burnley dugout.
The Millers refused to buckle though and almost added a third when Jamie Lindsay forced Muric into a save.
Burnley turned on the pressure and Johansson was forced into action to thwart Roberts from point-blank range, before Ashley Barnes had an effort ruled out for offside.
The fourth official had just indicated 10 minutes of stoppage time when Manuell Benson finally broke the resistance with a stunning curling effort which lashed into the far corner.
And then came late heartbreak. The Clarets were awarded a throw-in deep in Rotherham territory, it was taken quickly and played into the path of Brownhill who forced a save from Johansson, but Dervisoglu was on hand to capitalise on the rebound and steal all three points for the Clarets.
FULL TIME: BURNLEY 3 – 2 ROTHERHAM
Burnley – Muric, Cork ©, Harwood-Bellis, Gudmundsson (Benson 59’), Brownhill, Rodriguez (Barnes 74’), Zaroury, Vitinho (Roberts 74’), Tella (Dervişoğlu 70’), Maatsen, Beyer. SUBS – Peacock-Farrell, Taylor, Bastien.
Rotherham – Johansson, Harding, Bramall, Barlaser, Wiles ©, Norton-Cuffy, Washington (Lindsay 63’), Rathbone (Wood 77’), Hall, Peltier, Odoffin (Ogbene 63’). SUBS – Vickers, McCart, Eaves, Kelly.
Referee – Leigh Doughty