Rotherham United bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup at the Third Round stage, after being edged out on penalties by Queens Park Rangers.
After the game ended goalless, the Millers thought they'd won it through Michael Ihiekwe, but the R's levelled five minutes from time through Lyndon Dykes to force spot kicks.
Chiedozie Ogbene missed the decisive spot kick, as the hosts edged through 8-7.
Rotherham United boss Paul Warne reshuffled his pack by making four changes to the side that ensured a safe passage into the Papa John’s Trophy Quarter Finals with a win at Crewe Alexandra, with the most notable replacements seeing Richard Wood reclaim the captain’s armband as he returned to the heart of the defence, with Ollie Rathbone and Dan Barlaser taking up places in the engine room.
Forward Freddie Ladapo – who had news of his transfer request made public on Thursday – was named among the substitutes alongside Angus MacDonald, whose inclusion on the bench in midweek provided a welcome boost for both him and the club’s fanbase.
The Millers arrived in the capital on the back of wins over Bromley and Stockport County in this season’s Emirates FA Cup competition, with the Sky Bet Championship Rs entering for the first time in the Third Round.
Rotherham showed their intent straight from kick off as Grigg charged down Archer within the first 15 seconds, forcing the keeper into a rushed clearance to win a corner. Barlaser delivered but the keeper made up for his earlier hesitancy to claim the ball inside the opening minute.
The R’s first sight of goal came 12 minutes in, when Austin found his strike partner Gray in a pocket of space. The forward looked to line up an effort but was prevented from doing so by a strong recovery run and tackle from Sadlier.
Two minutes later and it was the away side’s turn to attack. Ihiekwe received the ball from Ferguson and crossed from the left towards Smith, but Archer was out decisively to pick up possession and relieve the pressure on the home side.
The R’s went straight down the other end and attacked from Thomas, who pounced on a loose ball before driving through the centre of midfield. He looked to play a delicate through ball to the on-rushing Gray but a wonderful sliding interception from Edmonds-Green prevented the pass from reaching the forward.
Rangers should have been ahead on 21 minutes when Wallace found himself with time and space on the left flank to deliver after being fed by Johansen. The wing-back unselfishly cut the ball across for Thomas who inexplicably failed to turn the ball home with the goal gaping.
The hosts had shown signs to suggest that when they could reach their fluent best, they could trouble the Millers rearguard and did just that on 26 minutes when Wallace’s ball in from the left found Austin, who drew a fine save from Vickers at full stretch at his near post.
Yoann Barbet later took charge of a promising set piece situation when the Rs won a free kick 25 yards from goal and clearly had his sights on the target, but couldn’t overcome a six-foot-plus wall of Rotherham United defenders, who ensured his effort was deflected behind for a corner.
Half chances came and went for former Miller Dominic Ball and Jimmy Dunne, but neither could trouble Vickers in the Millers net.
One of the bright moments of the first half came when Rathbone showed great presence of mind to slide a ball right to Harding, whose first time cross bobbled around in the penalty area before Ihiekwe was unlucky to see his stabbed effort bobble up off the legs of the retreating Barbet and into the arms of Jordan Archer.
The Millers’ last act of note involved Sadlier getting to the byline and teeing up Ferguson to cross for Smith at the back post but the Geordie forward – who has been lethal in similar positions this season – was unable to make a telling contact.
Half-time | Queens Park Rangers 0 v 0 Rotherham United
Paul Warne’s men started the second period exactly as they did the first and almost had the lead straight from kick off when Grigg hooked the ball towards Smith to head onto the roof of the net.
Dickie then received a pass inside by Johansen and looked to catch Vickers napping, but dragged his effort well wide of the goal from 35 yards.
Austin then held the ball up efficiently before spraying the ball out wide for Adomah to cross first time for Gray who headed straight down the throat of Vickers.
The R’s spurned another big chance to go ahead on 62 minutes when substitute Dykes made headway for the byline before delivering for Gray, who spurned an effort over the crossbar from close-range.
The Millers won a free kick in the 67th minutes which was delivered by Barlaser. His centre for Ihiekwe at the far post and the defender took a touch before firing towards goal, forcing Barbet into a clearance.
Barlaser went close just two minutes later, when he collected Dunne’s clearance and took aim from 25 yards, seeing his effort whistle just wide of the left post.
The away side had a golden chance to open the scoring when Kayode met Barlaser’s centre, forcing Barbet to scramble the ball off the line.
Odoffin tested Archer from 18 yards with three minutes left to play, when Rathbone and Kayode combined well inside the penalty area to tee him up.
Adomah almost created the opener in the final minute, when he crossed low for Dykes to meet, forcing a sharp save from Vickers inside the six yard box.
FULL TIME | Queens Park Rangers 0 v 0 Rotherham United
The Millers broke the deadlock eight minutes into extra time, when Ihiekwe took down Harding’s free kick and finished into the far corner like a seasoned striker.
Harding sent in a beautiful delivery from the right four minutes later for Smith to attack, heading straight into the arms of Archer.
Paul Warne’s men certainly had the better of the exchanges in the opening half of extra time, which ended with Odoffin teeing up Lindsay to fire over from 20 yards.
HALF TIME (ET) Queens Park Rangers 0 v 1 Rotherham United
Adomah then went on a mesmerising run through the centre before teeing up Grey who was denied by a strong arm from Vickers inside the box.
The Millers couldn’t hang on as Dykes met a cross with a firm header which cannoned off the bar and just crept over the line.
There was controversy shortly after as Ogbene broke into the area before appearing to be hacked down by Barbet, but the referee did not see enough to give a penalty, as the game headed for spot kicks.
FULL TIME (ET) Queens Park Rangers 1 v 1 Rotherham United
The Millers bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup on penalties, with Chiedozie Ogbene's effort saved by Archer for 8-7.
Queens Park Rangers | Archer, Wallace (Odubajo 58'), Dickie, Barbet, Johansen, Austin Dykes 58'), Ball (Amos 70'), Thomas (Dozzell 70'), Gray, Dunne, Adomah.
Unused | Walsh, Field, Duke-McKenna, Drewe, Armstrong.
Rotherham | Vickers; Ihiekwe, Wood, Edmonds-Green (Ogbene 58'); Harding, Rathbone, Barlaser (Odoffin 79'), Sadlier (Lindsay 58'), Ferguson (Bola 79'); Smith, Grigg (Kayode 65').
Unused | Johansson, Mattock, Ladapo, MacDonald.
Attendance | 7,157 (685 away)
Referee | D. Whitestone