Rotherham 2-1 Leeds: Rotherham see off Leeds
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 02/04/16 9:06pm
Rotherham's remarkable run of form in the Sky Bet Championship continued as they ruined Steve Evans' first return to the New York Stadium with a drama-filled 2-1 win over Leeds.
An 89th-minute penalty from Greg Halford gave the Millers a fifth win in six games - a sequence which has seen them climb from six points adrift of safety to five points clear of the bottom three.
That only tells half of the story, though, as Luke Murphy's deflected effort, which came after Matt Derbyshire had been sent off for the Millers, cancelled out Lee Frecklington's opener and put Leeds in the ascendancy late on.
But with added time looming, Frecklington was fouled by Marco Silvestri and the Leeds goalkeeper had to walk, with Halford coolly slotting home from 12 yards.
The defeat will have hurt even more for Evans, who is staring down the barrel at Elland Road and looks set to be replaced in the summer.
After receiving a warm reception from the Millers fans, it had started well for the Scot as his current side made a bright start and looked dangerous going forward.
They struggled to create anything clear-cut until Chris Wood teed up Mirco Antenucci, but the Italian striker's low shot was too weak to trouble Lee Camp.
Having seen off that spell of pressure, Rotherham took the ascendency and a spell of dominance was rewarded with the 27th-minute lead.
Frecklington, such an influential figure in the Millers' recent revival, was the right man in the right place again as he arrived late in the box perfectly to get on the end of Joe Mattock's cross and fire home.
Leeds' response was spirited and they had several moments of promise in their hosts' area, but Antenucci's fierce drive, which was always angling away from the corner, was the best they had to show for their efforts.
They were under the cosh immediately after the restart as Rotherham started the second half at a gallop and Frecklington's goalbound effort was blocked, with Richie Smallwood lacking composure with the follow up.
The complexion of the game changed just after the hour when Derbyshire saw red for the Millers for a challenge on Gaetano Berardi. The Leeds right-back was left with blood pouring down his face but it did not look intentional from Derbyshire.
That gave Evans' men momentum and the dangerous Antenucci almost brought them level shortly after but his left-footed effort, which looked destined for the bottom corner, was superbly tipped around the post by Camp.
The Millers had to rely on some heroic defending to keep their lead intact, as Camp again denied Antenucci with a reflex stop and then Mattock bravely blocked Stuart Dallas' follow-up effort.
Any good fortune that Rotherham's defending deserved did not arrive as Leeds levelled in the 79th minute in the most fortuitous of circumstances.
Murphy's innocuous looking shot was heading straight into the arms of Camp until it took a wicked deflection and trickled into the bottom corner with the goalkeeper wrong-footed.
But there was a twist in the tale late on as Rotherham stole the victory.
A quick break saw Frecklington felled by Silvestri, who was sent off, and with all three subs used by Evans, defender Giuseppe Bellusci went in goal, only to pick the ball out of the net from Halford's penalty.