The visitors took a deserved lead after 19 minutes when Luke Ashworth was beaten to the ball by James Collins and with Ashworth grounded, Collins steered the ball into the net.
But four minutes before the break everyone in the ground except referee David Phillips saw Mark Wright flick the ball on with his hand. Everyone stopped, but the whistle never came and the only way Ashworth could stop Collins from scoring was to bring him down – and to everyone’s disbelief the referee pointed to the penalty spot from where Nicky Wroe made no mistake.
Things could have been different but for a great save from Ben Smith after 15 minutes. Home goalkeeper Andy Warrington cleared, Ian Thomas-Moore headed on for Ryan Taylor but Smith was off his line in a flash to block with his legs.
And things went from bad to worse for the home side three minutes after the break. There appeared to be no danger as Warrington came to the edge of his area to clear downfield, but his clearance smashed into Tom Bradshaw and rebounded to a completely unmarked Collins on the penalty spot who simply could not miss.
Substitute Adam Le Fondre’s goal for Rotherham – a well-taken 12-yard effort after good work from Omar Daley after 68 minutes – was scant reward.