A dominant Millers’ display overseen by Academy Manager Garreth Barker saw them get their reward 20 minutes from time when a Mason Warren free kick hit the crossbar and landed in the area, where defender Fabian Bailey applied a poacher’s finish to stab home the only goal of the game.
The clash with the Minstermen paved the way for a return to action for long-term absentee Kirk Broadfoot, while the likes of Jake Forster-Caskey and Aïmen Belaïd were handed the opportunity to get minutes under their belt in The Central League fixture.
The Millers started brightly in York and threatened the hosts’ goal after just three minutes when an effort wasn’t cleanly collected by Luke Simpson. Young forward Kuda Muskwe looked to capitalise on the spill but was thwarted by a good recovery save as he stabbed at goal.
The visitors continued to press for the opener and came close to doing so when Northern Ireland youth international Reece McGinley broke down the right and delivered a menacing cross into the near post, only to see it turned away by a retreating defender.
McGinley was the architect of another positive Millers’ move on 17 minutes but Jerry Yates couldn’t turn his lifted cross beyond the York City rearguard with his powerful drive deflected clear.
Forster-Caskey showed his quality with a sumptuous delivery from a Rotherham corner which picked out Muskwe in the area, who powered his header wide of the target.
With the Millers in the ascendency and half time approaching, more impressive wing play from McGinley allowed him to combine with Yates once more, but his curling effort went narrowly wide in the final notable chance before the half time interval.
Half-time | York City 0 v 0 Rotherham
The Millers withdrew Broadfoot at the interval having given the defender the 45 minutes they had intended, but that did not affect their momentum as they continued their search for an opener.
Muskwe was again the danger man five minutes after the restart but this time could not steer his effort on target as he stretched to connect with a ball in the box.
Seconds later the same player would come close and this could not be faulted for not putting the Millers ahead. Muskwe’s thunderbolt looked destined for the back of the net until some heroics in the home goal from Simpson saw him produce a stunning save to keep the score at 0-0.
The hosts forged their most notable chance on 66 minutes when Jake Charles capitalised on a lapse in concentration in the Millers’ rearguard before racing at goal but saw his effort go over the crossbar of Laurence Bilboe’s goal
The Millers’ dominance finally told 20 minutes from time when Warren whipped a free kick up and over the wall onto the crossbar, but when the chance looked like it might escape the visitors Bailey pounced to stab the ball home from close range.
Keen not to rest on their one goal advantage, the Millers continued to press and came close to doubling their lead on 87 minutes when the productive McGinley worked room on the right, before cutting back to Muskwe, whose effort sailed over the crossbar.
The Millers couldn’t find a second despite late pressure and held on to ensure they recorded their first win of the season in The Central League.
Full-time | York City 0 v 1 Rotherham
Millers | Bilboe; Bailey, Broadfoot (Saxton 46), Belaid (Naeem 58), Murr; Wilson, Warren, Forster-Caskey (Wiles 58), McGinley (Kayode 89); Yates, Muskwe.
Unused | Hinds.