Rotherham 3 Wigan Athletic 1

Latics crashed out of the Carabao Cup at Rotherham
Latics crashed out of the Carabao Cup at Rotherham

James Vaughan’s late goal was scant consolation as Wigan Athletic crashed out of the Carabao Cup at the first hurdle at Rotherham.

Latics boss Paul Cook had been as good as his word in terms of team selection, making a whopping eight changes - although all of those on duty were recognised first-teamers.

And to be fair to the visitors, they bossed the opening half only to somehow go into the break 2-0 behind, Gary Roberts hitting the bar with a brilliant effort from distance.

That became 3-0 just after the hour mark, and not even Vaughan’s clinical late header was enough to make a difference.

The visitors had enjoyed by far the best of the opening half-hour, with Shaun MacDonald - making his first competitive appearance since breaking his leg 16 months ago - spraying the ball around and dictating the play.

Lovely feet from Callum McManaman - one of only three survivors from Saturday, along with Callum Connolly and Cedric Kipre - saw him skip to the edge of the box, but his shot was always wide of the target.

After offering little threat themselves, Rotherham raised their game and scored two goals in the space of six minutes before the interval.

Jamie Proctor opened the scoring with the good finish from close range on 36 minutes that Jamie Jones couldn’t keep out.

Then, three minutes before the break, Jones was again helpless as an unmarked Semi Ajayi steered a bullet header into the roof of the net.

In between, Jamie Walker had fired inches wide and McManaman warmed the hands of the Millers goalkeeper, before Roberts went even better with a lovely left-foot curler that beat Lewis Price but came back off the bar.

The second half was more of the same, with Alex Bruce seeing a header deflected wide for a corner and MacDonald firing just over the top from 25 yards.

Latics threw on Devante Cole for McManaman to support Vaughan, who was only inches away from failing to get his toe to an inviting cross from Leonardo Da Silva Lopes.

But it was as good as game over on 64 minutes when Proctor’s flick header was directed just inside the post, out of the reach of the despairing Jones.

Credit Latics for not giving up the ghost, with Connolly trying his luck from 35 yards only for Lewis Price to tip it round the post.

The visitors did pull one back with 16 minutes remaining when Vaughan’s header flew past Price, and had the same player done better moments later from a similar position it might have made for an even more interesting last 10 minutes.

Joe Gelhardt and Jensen Weir came on for late cameos, but were unable to conjure anything to prevent Latics going down to a second defeat in three days.

Wigan Athletic: Jones; Da Silva Lopes, Bruce, Kipre, Naismith; MacDonald, Connolly; Roberts, Walker, McManaman; Vaughan.

Subs: Evans, Merrie, Golden, Long, Gelhardt (for Walker, 78), Weir (for Connolly, 90), Cole (for McManaman, 63).

Rotherham United: Price; Vyner, Raggett, Robertson, Forde, Jones; Ball, Ajayi, Williams, Wiles, Forde; Proctor.

Subs: Bilboe, Palmer (for Ajayi, 68), Taylor (for Williams, 75), Vassell (for Proctor, 82), Newell, Hinds, McGinley.

Referee: P Bankes

Atttendance: 3,017 (222 from Wigan)

Star Man: Shaun MacDonald