Millers boss Paul Warne was quick to hail the character of his side as they avoided an Emirates FA Cup upset with a strong second-half display to put pay to the challenge of National League outfit Maidenhead United.
At a rain-sodden York Road, Maidenhead stunned the Millers by taking a first-half lead through Jake Cassidy but Warne’s side were boosted by the dismissal of home skipper Alan Massey for a rash challenge on Ben Wiles.
The Berkshire side were punished for their indiscretion when Michael Ihiekwe levelled matters with a cool finish before sub Freddie Ladapo put the Millers ahead, soon after - with a calm turn and finish.
Matt Crooks killed off the tie with a lovely finish following superb build-up from sub Jake Hastie, as Warne’s side booked their place in the second round draw, which takes place on Monday evening.
Speaking afterwards, Warne admitted that the Millers were given a huge scare by the part-time side, before they ran out worthy winners.
“It was tough work and we expected nothing less,” Warne stressed.
“We said at half-time don’t get frustrated and after Icky got the goal, it was plain sailing for us.
“I thought we were on top before they went down to ten men. For an FA Cup tie, it had virtually everything.”
The Millers’ hopes of progressing looked in the balance for a large part of the affair but Warne felt that the midfield influence of Dan Barlaser and Ben Wiles turned the tide of the game, in the Millers favour, while Ladapo earned the man-of-the-match plaudits for a superb substitute cameo, capped by a well-taken goal.
“It was good for Freddie to get a goal and it was a good confidence boost for him.” Warne added.
“The two outstanding performers were Dan (Barlaser) and Wilsey. It was like they had old heads on young shoulders.”