Two goals from Ben Wiles in the space of three first half minutes ultimately condemned Wanderers to defeat in Sky Bet League One at the University of Bolton on Saturday afternoon.
Wanderers started the game well and on the front foot with a chance falling to Antoni Sarcevic, but after being picked out by Eoin Doyle, he saw a shot blocked before Dapo Afolayan also had an effort blocked.
Shortly afterwards, George Johnston connected with Josh Sheehan’s corner to head the ball narrowly over the bar.
A huge chance for Rotherham United followed a few minutes later with Ben Wiles blasting a shot over the bar after being picked out by Chiedozie Ogbene’s deflected low cross.
Twelve minutes had been played and the Millers went on the attack through Oliver Rathbone who saw a shot from 20 yards out kept out alertly by Joel Dixon low to his left-hand side.
At the other end of the pitch, the Whites had another chance with Sheehan’s corner being met once again by Johnston who flashed a header across the goal and wide.
Rotherham took the lead just after the quarter-hour mark with Ben Wiles curling an unstoppable shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.
A couple of minutes later the visitors converted again with Wiles heading the ball into the ground and then into the roof of the net, following a corner on the near side.
Wanderers responded well and went on the attack after winning possession in the middle of the park; after a through ball by Dapo Afolayan into Antoni Sarcevic, the captain saw his blocked importantly by Joe Mattock.
Shortly afterwards, Eoin Doyle had a glorious chance however his shot hit the post and rebounded favourably for Millers goalkeeper Viktor Johansson to save it.
United won a free-kick just outside of the 18-yard box following a foul by Gethin Jones on Tolaji Bola, but it couldn’t be converted by Dan Barlaser who dipped an effort narrowly over the bar.
The White had the ball in the net through a powerful Johnston header, assisted by Josh Sheehan’s free-kick but it was chalked off by the linesman for an offside decision against the Bolton defender.
Wanderers started the second half well got underway and the wanderers started off well with Lloyd Isgrove forcing Johansson into a smart save.
Soon after, Eoin Doyle had possession and was charging forward before being pegged back by Joe Mattock. Ian Evatt’s men received a free-kick which was taken by Sheehan who sent a dipping shot marginally over the bar.
Wanderers were constantly on the front foot in the second period in a chase to get back into the game, but Rotherham went close through Michael Smith who saw a shot cannon back off the inside of the post just before the hour mark.
Another chance came the way of Johnston who could’ve scored a couple on another day, but after once again latching onto a Sheehan delivery he acrobatically flashed the ball across goal and narrowly wide of the post.
The latter stages of the game arrived and the Whites appealed for a penalty for a push on Eoin Doyle inside but it was waved away by the referee with the Irishman adamant he’d been fouled.
A frustrating afternoon for Wanderers who fell to a first home league defeat of the campaign in front of a near 21,000 strong crowd at the University of Bolton Stadium. An opportunity to bounce back next week against Sunderland at another theatre of football, the Stadium of Light.
Bolton Wanderers: Dixon, Jones, Almeida Santos, Johnston, Gordon, Williams, Sheehan (Lee 71), Sarcevic (Kachunga 76), Isgrove, Afolayan, Doyle.
Unused Subs: Gilks, Aimson, Baptiste, Thomason, Delfouneso.
Rotherham United: Johansson, Edmonds-Green, Wood, Mattock, Ogbene (Harding 46), Wiles, Bola, Rathbone, Barlaser (Lindsay 60), Grigg (Sadlier 78), Smith.
Unused Subs: Vickers, Ihiekwe, Odoffin, Kayode.
Goals: Wiles (18, 21)