Relegation moved a step closer for Wednesday tonight after a last-minute winner from 10-man Rotherham sent us to a fifth successive defeat in Darren Moore’s first game in charge.
We really needed three points from the game but another desperately disappointing night at Hillsborough was rounded off when Freddie Ladapo curled home a cracking goal to complete a 2-1 victory for the MIllers and leave us seven points from safety.
Minutes earlier we had missed a great chance to possibly take all three points ourselves, Callum Paterson heading over from Matt Penney’s cross when well placed.
Then, in the seventh minute of added time, Izzy Brown sent in a dreadful corner which allowed Rotherham to break away and they sealed the points in style with Ladapo’s top-class finish from the edge of the box.
Our best chances of the first half came inside the first six minutes with two headers. First, Sam Hutchinson’s close-in effort lacked power and was clawed away by keeper Viktor Johannson and then Paterson’s strong header from the resulting corner was inches wide when he might have found the target.
We went one down on 16 minutes when Florian Jozefzoon was left in space to cross from the right and Michael Smith shrugged off the attentions of Tom Lees to power home an excellent header from 10 yards.
Paterson missed another opportunity on the half-hour, latching onto Julian Borner’s long through ball but shooting wide of the near post when an effort across goal would surely have brought an equaliser.
However, it was Rotherham who went closest to a second goal in the half, Lewis Wing taking advantage of some clumsy defending and breaking clear to send a cross-shot past Joe Wildsmith but it hit the bottom of the post and rebounded to safety.
Paterson and Adam Reach both went close early in the second half and then Josh Windass fired over from inside the box.
And it looked as though we might have been handed a lifeline midway through the half when Rotherham were reduced to 10 men, goalscorer Smith sent off for what appeared to be aiming a headbutt towards Borner’s chest after they challenged for the ball.
Paterson missed another opportunity when Elias Kachunga’s low cross bounced off Johannson but the striker sent the rebound back against the keeper.
However, we finally broke through with an equaliser eight minutes from the end of normal time and in fortunate circumstances. Penney miscontrolled Liam Shaw’s through ball in the box but as he and Johannson challenged for the ball, it rebounded off Matt Olosunde and into the net.
Then came Paterson’s header that flew over the bar on 88 minutes and, with the game seemingly set for a draw, Ladapo struck to leave us well adrift of the safety zone and with new boss Moore facing a mighty challenge to keep us in the Championship.
Wildsmith, Palmer (Marriott 86), Lees, Borner, Penney, Hutchinson (Brown 80), Bannan (Rhodes 86), Shaw, Reach (Harris 73), Paterson, Windass (Kachunga 73). Unused subs. Jackson, Dunkley, Urhoghide, Pelupessy.