Rovers were beaten by current Sky Bet League One leaders Rotherham United at the Eco-Power Stadium.
Two early goals within the opening 16 minutes put the Millers ahead with Mickel Miller and Ben Wiles hitting the target. Before second half strikes from Chiedozie Ogbene, Jamie Lindsay and a penalty from Dan Barlaser wrapped up the game.
The first half provided no chances for Gary McSheffrey’s side with the league leaders dominating possession throughout the opening period.
Oliver Rathbone enjoyed the first chance of the game with a powerful effort from outside the box forcing Jonathan Mitchell into a stretching save.
The first goal came from a Rotherham attack that caused a lot of appeals for offside, but the assistant referee did not flag and the visitors won a corner. From that dead ball situation, the Millers scored directly from the corner kick.
Their second came through Ben Wiles. Rotherham pounced onto the misplaced ball from Branden Horton and Wiles finished the attack by curling past Mitchell.
Most of the testing attacks from Paul Warne’s side came down their right-hand flank, with Ogbene causing a headache for Horton with his blistering sprints and crosses into the box.
There was a brief opportunity for Rovers to get a chance on goal, but Charlie Seaman’s long ball upfield was a little too heavy for Mipo Odubeko to latch onto.
During half time McSheffrey made a double change with Horton and Adam Clayton withdrawn for Ben Jackson and Ethan Galbraith. The performance from Rovers started to improve in the second half but a few passes let them down before they eventually collapsed in the final 20 minutes.
Jackson made an inital impact by providing more security on Rovers’ left and even got involved in attacks.
The Huddersfield loanee was part of a back-to-back chance for Rovers as Odubeko’s shot was blocked by a diving Rotherham defender and Jackson had the rebounded effort from the edge of the penalty area but he was off target.
It was not long until Reo Griffiths was introduced to make his debut since his deadline day transfer to Rovers from Olympique Lyon. He replaced Joe Dodoo on the 63rd minute.
The young forward brought fresh optimism into the side as the momentum started to swing in Rovers’ favour.
But it would be the final balls from Rovers that continued to let them down once they got into threatening positions. And eventually, Rovers were punished for not making the most of their brief momentum.
Rotherham made it 3-0 through Ogbene on the 72nd minute and from that point, the visitors well and truly grabbed the game by the neck.
Referee Scott Oldham awarded Rotherham a penalty when Joseph Olowu seemingly won the ball in a battle against Joshua Kayode in the box. Barlaser was the man who took the spot and sent Mitchell the wrong way.
Rotherham ended the game with a fifth from substitute Jamie Lindsay whose low strike firmly put the game out of sight.