JOE NEWELL scored a dramatic winning penalty in the 13th minute of stoppage time as Rotherham United made it seven wins in a row.
Striker John Marquis had scored his 10th goal of the season but Doncaster Rovers were denied their first win in Rotherham in 33 years when Michael Smith first headed the equaliser in stoppage time and Newell struck from the spot after Marko Marosi was adjudged to have brought down Smith after blocking an initial attempt from Caolan Lavery..
The visitors had overcome the sickening loss of Burnley loanee defender Tom Anderson, who was knocked cold by his own goalkeeper Marko Marosi in the 48th minute, but the Millers would not be denied as they maintained their place in the play-offs after 12 minutes of stoppage time had been signalled largely due to the injury.
Joe Mattock recovered from hamstring trouble to resume at left-back in Rotherham's one change and Ben Whiteman came in for Doncaster in front of the defence in place of Luke McCullough, who took a knock against Fleetwood.
It was a frenetic first half with David Ball flicking two headers wide and volleying over as the hosts gradually built the pressure.
Marek Rodak flattened three players as he punched out a free-kick from James Coppinger at the other end but the Millers goalkeeper was largely untroubled until the 39th minute.
Then Alex Kiwomya's pace enabled him to catch central defender Semi Ajayi in possession and the ball broke for Marquis, who showed composure on the edge of the area before curling the ball into the net.
Soon after the interval, Marko Marosi raced out to the right corner of his area to claim the ball but flattened Tom Anderson in the process.
The central defender had to be taken away on a stretcher after seven minutes of onfield treatment. Joe Wright came on for Anderson.
Rotherham almost equalised when Will Vaulks headed narrowly over from a corner and Tommy Rowe's goalbound shot was blocked in front of the 2,624 Doncaster fans in the 11,725 crowd.
Millers pressure built but Rovers were dangerous on the counter and Joe Mattock did well to head over his own bar a chipped cross from Coppinger.
Mattock prised open the Rovers defence and cut the ball back for Richie Towell, whose low drive was diverted over the bar by Wright.
Alfie Beestin also had to be taken off by stretcher following a 50-50 challenge with Richard Wood.
Matty Blair replaced Beestin and Ryan Williams came on for Rotherham's Anthony Ford.
The board went up for 12 minutes of stoppage time before Matt Palmer replaced Wood.
Then after Coppinger had been replaced by Jordan Houghton, Joe Newell whipped in a free-kick and Smith head in off the post to make it 1-1 in the '93rd minute.'
The Millers continued to surge forward but Doncaster held out until Lavery's late surge down the left into the area and Marosi's subsequent impeding of Smith as they went for the loose ball.
Millers manager Paul Warne: “It was sort of a game of two halves, really. First-half I don’t think there was a lot in it but Donny had more composure on the ball. It’s the first time we’ve played in a full house for a while, which is great and we want people to come and watch this great team.
“I thought Donny had a bit more composure and adjusted to the conditions quicker than we did. I thought if I got the lads in at 0-0 by half time I’d be happy with that. I didn’t think they were doing what we asked them to do.
“We asked them where they thought it was going wrong at half time and we adjusted it. Then I thought the second half we were really good. I hope the two Donny lads are all right, as neither of them looked like good injuries. I hope they’re okay. It sort of ruined the run of the game. It wasn’t smooth, but we had a lot of possession, attempts on goal and corners.
“Then there was another injury so we didn’t get going as well as we’d liked.”
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson said: “It’s a hard one to take. When you lose a game with the actual last kick of the ball, it’s a really hard one to take.
“My players didn’t deserve that. The amount of effort they put into that and the commitment.
“It was a typical derby game, one that we expected.
“First half, they didn’t give us many problems at all and it was a great goal by John. A great finish.
“We pressed them and the goal came from that. We defended from the front.
“The first goal is such a blatant foul on my centre half, that is why they score and it’s not been seen by the referee.”