Late Vokes strike earns Burnley victory at managerless Millers
Sam Vokes' 80th-minute strike got Burnley back to winning ways in the Sky Bet Championship as they ensured Rotherham began life after Steve Evans with a 2-1 defeat.
The Millers, managerless following Evans' surprise exit on Monday, looked to have earned a deserved draw when Grant Ward's stunning 25-yard strike cancelled out Andre Gray's opener for the Clarets.
But Vokes pounced with 10 minutes remaining to earn the three points and ensure Sean Dyche's men, who were beaten by Reading last week, move up to third in the table ahead of Saturday's games.
For the Millers, led by caretaker manager Eric Black, a two-game winning run came to an end as they will feel unfortunate not to have earned a point.
Any hopes of a rousing post-Evans start the Millers had were quickly extinguished when Dyche's men surged into a ninth-minute lead.
Danny Collins was caught ball-watching after a loose clearance from Richie Smallwood and Gray latched on to it and had no problem in slotting home from 12 yards for his second goal in Burnley colours.
Rotherham's response was spirited but they were undermined by a lack of quality in the final third and Burnley began to turn the screw, creating several chances to extend their lead.
Home goalkeeper Lee Camp had to be alert to turn away a deflected effort from Tendayi Darikwa and then again to superbly parry David Jones' effort. There was nothing the former Bournemouth man could do to keep out Vokes' brilliant 25-yard volley, but luckily the crossbar came to the Millers' rescue.
Despite having Camp to thank for keeping them in it, the Millers could have gone into the break on level terms as Tom Heaton - named in Roy Hodgson's England squad yesterday - had to be at his best to keep out a low Matt Derbyshire effort.
Rotherham offered plenty of bluster after the restart and had a golden chance to get level in the 53rd minute as Jonson Clarke-Harris robbed Darikwa, but his lay-off to Tony Andreu was slightly behind him and the on-loan Norwich man could not make a proper contact with his shot.
They continued to control the game, though, and their reward came in the 75th minute as they levelled with a goal-of-the-season contender.
Chris Maguire spread the ball out to the left, Joe Mattock laid off to Ward and he arrowed an unstoppable effort from 25 yards into the top corner, which even Heaton could do nothing about.
But their joy was short-lived as Burnley hit back five minutes later when Vokes poked home from close range after Camp could not hold Scott Arfield's effort.
The Millers could not find a repeat of Ward's quality and the Clarets saw it out for a second away win of the campaign.