YORK City missed out on an opportunity to make the last 16 of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy for the first time since 1997 when they went down 3-0 at home to Rotherham.

An own goal by Chris Smith gave League One Rotherham a 1-0 lead at the interval and a second-half penalty from Kieran Agard, followed by Alex Revell’s header, saw the visitors gain revenge for their exit at the hands of the Minstermen in last season’s competition.

City made four changes to the side that started Saturday’s 3-0 win at Torquay for the second round tie.

With wingers Josh Carson and Ryan Brobbel both away on international duty, Tom Platt and Ashley Chambers lined up on the flanks.

Club captain Smith was also recalled in place of David McGurk at the back, although Dan Parslow retained the skipper’s armband, while Lewis Montrose, suspended at the weekend, came back in as Craig Clay dropped to the bench.

Rotherham boss Steve Evans reshuffled his pack, resting key players like goalkeeper Scott Shearer, right-back Mark Bradley and Rob Milsom, with the trio named as substitutes.

Both sides made a low-key opening to the game but, on ten minutes, Millers captain Craig Morgan was fortunate to avoid an early dismissal.

The former Preston defender was his team’s last man when he wrestled the livewire Wes Fletcher to the ground, but referee Mark Haywood decided a yellow card was sufficient punishment.

Rotherham then enjoyed their second stroke of good luck to forge ahead on 17 minutes.

Left-back Joe Skarz did well to retrieve Ben Pringle’s searching pass down the wing but his cross then struck an unwitting Smith on the head and beat a helpless Michael Ingham at his near post.

It proved the only time in the half that Steve Evans’ men threatened the home goal.

City, meanwhile, created two great chances to claim an equaliser before the interval.

First, Luke O’Neill’s right-wing cross picked out Elliott Whitehouse completely unmarked six yards from goal but the on-loan Sheffield United midfielder headed wastefully wide.

Then, Chambers floated a cross to the far post for Ryan Jarvis who headed past Millers ’keeper Adam Collin only for Pablo Mills to clear off the line.

The hosts also saw a goal disallowed on the stroke of half-time. Chambers’ well-struck 20-yard drive proved too powerful for Collin to hold on to and Fletcher, following up in typical poacher style, found an empty net from six yards.

Despite the post-goal celebration music blaring out of the speakers for a good 20 seconds and the players congratulating Fletcher, it did not count with the referee’s assistant flagging for offside.

The half-time whistle saw the visitors a goal to the good despite failing to muster a single shot in the opening 45 minutes or force a corner.

Seven minutes after the restart, following Morgan’s earlier scare, it was then Parslow’s turn to escape a seemingly certain dismissal.

The City centre-back failed to deal with a long ball down Rotherham’s right flank and ended up hauling down Revell to deny him a clear run on goal. Surprisingly again, Haywood opted for only a caution but perhaps the subsequent haranguing he received from away boss Evans contributed to the soft penalty he awarded Rotherham for their second goal.

After Chambers’ far post header from O’Neill’s free-kick had been saved by Collin, Rotherham managed their first shot of the game on the hour when Danny Hylton curled narrowly wide from 25 yards.

Ingham then swiftly gifted the visitors with a second attempt at his goal, but was relieved to see Revell’s lob following his poor clearance sail over a vacated home net.

It was the man in the middle, though, who presented Rotherham with their best opportunity to double their advantage on 63 minutes.

Montrose appeared to win a header in the box but, when the diminutive Agard crumbled to the floor under his weight, a penalty was awarded. The same player then beat Ingham to his right as the City ’keeper dived in the opposite direction.

Rotherham made it 3-0 five minutes later when Richard Brindley’s excellent right-wing cross was headed emphatically past Ingham by Revell and there was never going to be a way back into the match for City from that point.

It was at least a notable night for youth-team apprentice Cameron Murray, however, as he made his debut as a 75th-minute substitute.

Match facts

York City 0, Rotherham United 3 (Smith og 17; Agard 63 pen; Revell 68)

York City: Michael Ingham 6, Luke O’Neill 7, Daniel Parslow 6, Chris Smith 6, Ben Davies 6, Tom Platt 6, Lewis Montrose 6, Elliott Whitehouse 6, Ashley Chambers 7, Ryan Jarvis 7, Wes Fletcher 7.

Subs: Ryan Bowman 6 (for Chambers, 69), Richard Cresswell 6 (for Fletcher, 69), Cameron Murray (for Platt, 75).

Not used: Craig Clay, Tom Allan.

City star man: Luke O’Neill – tidy in defence and dangerous going forward.

Rotherham: Adam Collin, Richard Brindley, Pablo Mills, Craig Morgan (Danny Rowe, 87), Joe Skarz, Kieran Agard (Mark Bradley, 90), Lee Frecklington, Michael Tidser, Ben Pringle (Rob Milsom, 90), Alex Revell, Danny Hylton. Subs not used: Scott Shearer, Michael O’Connor.

Referee: Mark Haywood (West Yorkshire).

Referee rating: 3/10.

Booked: Morgan 10, Parslow 52.

Sent off: None.

Attendance: 2,372 (529 from Rotherham).

Shots on target: City 3, Millers 4.

Shots off target: City 5, Millers 5.

Corners: City 6, Millers 2.

Fouls conceded: City 16, Millers 8.

Offsides: City 2, Millers 0.