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Paul Warne delighted as Rotherham keep promotion in their own hands

Paul Warne saw his side come from behind to earn a crucial win (Will Matthews/PA)
Paul Warne saw his side come from behind to earn a crucial win (Will Matthews/PA)

Rotherham manager Paul Warne is pleased his side have their destiny in their own hands after they rallied to beat Oxford 2-1.

Dan Barlaser went from villain to hero when he stroked home the second-half winner from the penalty spot, having earlier scored an own goal.

It ensured the second-placed Millers remain on the same points as MK Dons in third, but with a better goal difference and a game in hand.

Warne said: “At this moment in time it’s in our hands and if you had offered me that before the game then I would have taken it.

“It’s testament to the league that so many teams have got 80 points. There’s so many good teams and I would love to think we get promoted but whoever takes second spot definitely deserves it.

“Fortunately we got the goal just before half-time and it gave the lads a real boost. It definitely settled us down.

“We got the goal at a really good time and second half we looked back to our glowing best and could have got a couple more goals.

“While it’s 2-1, it’s edgy. I am just really pleased to finish the regular season in front of our fans with a win.

“Sometimes it’s just about raw effort. You give yourself a right chance. We had plenty of chances to get the third goal.”

Oxford took a 10th-minute lead when Barlaser diverted Sam Long’s wicked cross into his own goal.

Rotherham got level three minutes into first-half added time with Rarmani Edmonds-Green powering in Ben Wiles’ cross.

With both teams needing victory for their promotion bids, the game opened up in the second period.

Goalkeepers Jack Stevens and Viktor Johansson had to keep out close-range efforts from Richard Wood and Ryan Williams respectively within seconds of one another.

The game swung the Millers’ way on 66 minutes when Barlaser smashed them in front after Chiedozie Ogbene had drawn a foul from Luke McNally.

Rotherham missed chances to make the scoreline more emphatic late on but their win denied Oxford a shot at making the play-offs.

Oxford head coach Karl Robinson said: “I am sick. It’s a sick moment and one that I am struggling with.

“We have accumulated 75 points and with a game to go we have nothing to play for other than pride and for the fans next week.

“We gave far too many free-kicks away in the first half and knew there would be consequences. There was human error at certain stages. We have to learn from it.

“There were other games through the course of the season where we have thrown points away.”