Rotherham United fell to defeat in the capital after a 3-1 loss against Charlton Athletic at The Valley.
Joe Aribo’s brace added to a first-half strike from Michael Zyro as fellow play-off contenders Charlton ran out deserved winners, despite a positive opening from the Millers which saw Will Vaulks strike the bar in the opening stages.
Richard Wood grabbed a late consolation with a tap-in from close range, but it was Charlton’s day as the Millers endured a disappointing end to the Bank Holiday weekend.
Paul Warne made three changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Peterborough United on Good Friday. Richie Towell and Joe Mattock missed out through injury whilst David Ball dropped to the bench. Ryan Williams came into the midfield, whilst there were also recalls for Ben Purrungton and Wood.
The Millers made a bright start and could have been in front after just a minute. Good work by Joe Newell down the left saw the winger cut the ball back towards Forde, his pass took a deflection and rolled kindly for Vaulks but he crashed his shot against the bar.
The same player was presented with an even better chance soon after. This time it was Forde down the right cutting the ball back perfectly for Vaulks who ran onto the pass in full stride, but leaning back slightly he blasted his shot over from 20 yards.
Despite the early pressure from the Millers, the home side gradually worked themselves into the game despite losing Tariqe Fosu through injury early on.
On 21 minutes Charlton thought they had a penalty when a cross into the area appeared to strike the hand of Wood. After initially awarding the spot-kick, the assistant flagged and a free-kick was awarded for a push.
Without creating anything clear cut, the home side cranked up the pressure before eventually taking the lead on 28 minutes. A long punt down-field was headed straight to Zyro by Josh Emmanuel, and the Charlton front-man controlled with his right before unleashing an unstoppable strike with his left which left Rodak with no chance.
The restart was delayed for a change of official, as the Millers attempted to re-group. Warne’s side put themselves in several good positions but their final ball let them down with ex-Charlton ace Smith feeding off scraps.
On 32 minutes a Newell cross was plucked out the sky by Ben Amos, and it was the same result when a Vaulks break found Forde, his initial centre was blocked but Emmanuel’s cross from the rebound was claimed again by the Charlton ‘keeper.
Just before the break Williams threatened when he burst forward into the area, but after being forced wide his shot was deflected into the arms of Amos.
Rotherham threatened just after the break when a corner was only cleared as far as Purrington, but his deflected low shot didn’t fool Amos who smothered his effort.
The Millers were then dealt a hammer blow as Vaulks conceded a free-kick following a challenge on Ben Reeves. Ex-Miller Jake Forster-Caskey crossed and Aribo rose to glance his header beyond Rodak.
The Millers again found themselves in good positions but couldn’t find the final ball as Forde’s cross was again claimed by Amos.
The game was effectively ended when Charlton bagged a third on the counter attack. The home side swept forward after clearing a Vaulks long throw, with Aribo charging forward to smash in his second of the afternoon.
Warne reacted by bringing on Jon Taylor for Forde, and the Millers improved giving themselves a lifeline on 76 minutes. A cross found Smith who angled a well placed header towards goal, Amos got a hand to it but directed it straight to Wood who netted against his former club.
The Millers kept plugging away but despite the introduction of Caolan Lavery, they struggled to create another clear-cut chance.
Rodak made two saves late on as the Millers pushed forward in vein, as Charlton held out for the three points.
Charlton: Amos; Bauer, Pearce, Ajose (Mavididi 67), Reeves, Fosu (Kaikai 18), Konas, Aribo, Forster-Caskey, Da Silva, Zyro (Magennis 83).
Subs not used: Phillips, Marshall, Sarr, Dijksteel.
Rotherham: Rodak; Emmanuel, Ajayi, Wood, Purrington (Lavery 83); Forde (Taylor 67), Vaulks, Palmer, Newell; Williams; Smith.
Subs not used: Price, Ball, Ihiekwe, Cummings, Wiles.