Burton Albion 2 Rotherham United 0: Faltering Millers lose further ground on leaders Wigan after fourth defeat in five games

ROTHERHAM United’s slump continued with a brutal League One title blow at Burton Albion.

Hard to take: Rotherham United's Michael Smith (left) reacts dfuring the 2-0 defeat by Burton Albion. Picture: Isaac Parkin/PA Wire.
Hard to take: Rotherham United's Michael Smith (left) reacts dfuring the 2-0 defeat by Burton Albion. Picture: Isaac Parkin/PA Wire.

Paul Warne’s Millers could have cut the gap at the top to just two points after Wigan Athletic were held to a draw at Ipswich Town.

But they clung onto second by the skin of their teeth as MK Dons slipped up at Oxford United, after a disappointing defeat at the Pirelli Stadium.

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The South Yorkshire outfit, who are five points off top but only ahead of MK on goal difference, had seemingly got back on track after getting back to winning ways against Ipswich Town.

Second best: Rotherham midfielder Shane Ferguson, above right, takes on Burton’s Thomas Hamer. Pictures: Isaac Parkin/PAWire

But the Brewers, who had failed to score in five games, condemned the South Yorkshire outfit to a frustrating fourth defeat in five.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson ended the hosts’ painful 453-minute wait for a goal before John Bradford put the game to bed midway through the second-half.

The visitors got off to the worst possible start as Thomas Hamer’s long throw fell to Borthwick-Jackson to poke home.

Jamie Lindsay went close to an equaliser but on-loan Manchester United keeper Matej Kovar produced a stunning full-stretch stop.

Bad night: United manager Paul Warne, left, can hardly look as his long-time leaders of League One slumped to a fourth defeat in five games. Picture: Isaac Parkin/PA

Down the other end, Swedish stopper Viktor Johansson stayed tall to keep out Burton’s former Hull City frontman Oumar Niasse.

Towering striker Michael Smith saw his header saved ten minutes before the break.

After the restart, Williams Kokolo blasted just wide of the mark before substitute Christian Saydee almost made an instant impact as he stung the palms of Johansson.

Brewers’ skipper Brayford bagged the points with a bullet header from Joe Powell’s free-kick with 21 minutes to go.

Provider Powell almost got on the scoresheet himself when his cheeky back-heel went wide.

Chiedozie Ogbene almost gave the Millers a late glimmer of hope when he forced Kovar into a brilliant close-range stop.

Elsewhere, Oxford’s Billy Boden was the man who did Millers a huge favour, as his 86th-minute goal proved the winner against MK Dons, who remain below Rotherham on goal difference and having played a game more.

Leaders Wigan also dropped points as they were held 2-2 at Ipswich Town.

Will Keane had give Leam Richardson’s side the lead right on half-time, but his effort was cancelled out by former Barnsley striker Conor Chaplin just after the hour mark.

Sam Morsy gave Ipswich the lead with 17 minutes remaining before Keane bagged his seciond (86), to keep the Latics five points clear of Warne’s side, with both teams having three games left to play.

Burton: Kovar, Hughes, Brayford, Oshilaja, Hamer, Mancienne, Borthwick-Jackson, Kokolo, Powell (Shaughnessy, 86), Niasse, Chapman (Saydee, 54). Unused subs: Garratt, Maddox, Moult, Lakin, Ahadme.

Rotherham: Johansson, Edmonds-Green, Ihiekwe, Harding, Ogbene, Lindsay, Barlaser (Ladapo, 38), Rathbone, Osei-Tatu (Ferguson, 33; Wood, 45), Wiles, Smith. Unused subs: Chapman, Odoffin, Mattock, Kayode.

Referee: T Reeves (Warwickshire)

Fulham secured promotion back to the Premier League in emphatic fashion as Aleksandar Mitrovic took his tally for the season to 40 with a brace in a comfortable 3-0 win over Preston North End.

The Cottagers could have secured their spot on Good Friday but a 2-1 defeat at Derby was the first time they had suffered successive defeats this season. However, they bounced back at Craven Cottage and took the lead with their first real chance of the game as Mitrovic slotted home.

Carvalho added Fulham’s second and just before half-time Mitrovic made it 40 Sky Bet Championship goals when he took a touch and fired the ball past the Preston goalkeeper. The Serbian forward had already cruised past Ivan Toney’s Championship scoring record and now sits just two behind Guy Whittingham’s 42-goal haul from a 46-game second-tier season for Portsmouth in 1992-93.

Fulham have been dominant in the second tier this season and secured promotion with 26 wins, having scored 98 goals in the process.