Bottom of the league Rotherham slumped to ninth defeat of the season in losing 3-1 to high-flying Norwich City, who moved back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table.
The Canaries made it 16 points from a possible 18 at their home fortress as goals from Wes Hoolahan, Cameron Jerome and substitute Steven Naismith saw off the league’s bottom side.
Dexter Blackstock briefly brought Rotherham into it by cutting Norwich’s lead to 2-1 midway through the second half, but Norwich found a third and held on comfortably to move ahead of Huddersfield, who were set to face Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.
Rotherham gave a good account of themselves but the fact remains that they have lost five games on the trot and remain rooted to the foot of the table.
Alex Neil’s side took a while to get going but there was no looking back once they went in front after 17 minutes. Hoolahan showed great composure in the box to sidestep a defender and slide the ball past Lee Camp after good work from the impressive Alex Pritchard on his first league start.
Jacob Murphy should have made it 2-0 before the break only to shoot wastefully into the side-netting, but City continued to dominate and finally got the second goal they deserved midway through the second period.
The excellent Hoolahan swung in a cross for the left that Jerome guided home with the slightest of touches and it looked as though it would be a comfortable end to the game for the hosts.
But after seeing an effort from Jon Taylor chalked off for offside the Millers gave themselves a lifeline after 74 minutes. Darnell Fisher got down the left and crossed for Blackstock, who had only been on the pitch for four minutes, to convert from close range.
Rotherham never really threatened to score a second however and Norwich made the points safe in the 89th minute when Naismith was left with an open goal after a cross from the left from fellow substitute Josh Murphy.
Rotherham manager Alan Stubbs felt his side had given a decent account of themselves despite sliding to a fifth defeat on the trot.
“We were playing against a Premier League group of players in all but name and when we made it 2-1 we gave them a little scare,” he said.
“To be fair Norwich are a good side and they deserved to win the game but the lads gave it a good go and had we been up against a lesser side we might have got something from it.
“It’s the easiest thing in the world to accept your fate, it’s much harder not to accept it and go out there and try and do something about it. That’s what I told the players at half-time and I thought they did well in the second half.
“I have been in plenty of dressing rooms where there have been one or two players who tend to quit when things are going against them but I don’t see that here.
“The lads are going out there and doing the best they can and that is all you can ask of them. If they keep doing that, and keep working hard, things will turn for them, I am sure of that.”