Evans’ return to the New York Stadium, where he enjoyed so many good times in a three-and-a-half-year spell, was ruined by Greg Halford’s 89th-minute penalty which made it five wins in six for the Millers.
Defeat would have been inconceivable for the Scot when Luke Murphy cancelled out Lee Frecklington’s opener in the 79th-minute as the Millers were down to 10 men following Matt Derbyshire’s red card and on the ropes.
But Rotherham have specialised in late drama under Neil Warnock and won it when Frecklington was fouled by Leeds goalkeeper Marco Silvestri, who also received a red card, and Halford did the business from the spot.
It was a second successive Yorkshire derby loss for Evans, whose future at Elland Road gets bleaker by the match.
If he does get the chop at Leeds, he might not be out of work for long after speculation linking him with an unnamed Championship club.
Evans said: “That’s not for today, I have just lost in a derby at a club that is very close to my heart and it’s hard to take.
“I have not had any phone calls, the people that look after me, what they have had is not for me to be talking about because I want to be Leeds United head coach. All I have to think about now is QPR on Tuesday.
“This result doesn’t hurt my future, it’s hurts me today and tomorrow and until next time we play. I didn’t want to come back to Rotherham and lose, I wanted to come back and win and for large parts of the second half I thought as sure as night follows day that we were going to.
“I know these Rotherham fans and not for one minute did they think in the last 25 minutes they would get a goal.”
While Evans is fighting for his job, the situation could not be more different in the dugout he used to occupy as Neil Warnock’s amazing resurrection of the Millers continues.
They have won five of their last six games after getting the better of Brentford, Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough, Ipswich and now Leeds.
That has sparked a massive turnaround which has seen them register an 11-point swing on MK Dons, who they now sit five points clear of.
But Warnock is not getting carried away.
“We still haven’t achieved anything, we are good group of lads with our feet on the floor,” Warnock said. “There are going to be hiccups, but I don’t think a hiccup will bother us for the game after.
“We have to scrap for every point and that’s what we will be doing. At 1-1 with 10 men most people would have taken the draw, but we’re not like that!
“You have to work hard to get spirit like that, it’s a good recipe, I have done it all my career and I enjoy it.
“It shows that we don’t know when we are beaten. I am enjoying it.
“We have to enjoy every moment. To get the three points now is a bonus because we were up against it.”