Nigeria international Semi Ajayi was brilliant as Rotherham United climbed out of the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone with a 2-1 victory over Preston North End.
The former Arsenal defender played at the right hand side of the back four as the hosts picked a well deserved victory over Preston.
He has now made 26 appearances for the Millers in the 2018/19 league season. He has also played for a total duration of 2340 minutes.
Ajayi, 25, was sharp when he was in possession of the ball. He lasted the full duration.
Rotherham youngster Ben Wiles had the home side’s first effort with a rasping strike from the edge of the box that Declan Rudd had to tip over the bar.
There was nothing Rudd could do to deny Rotherham a half-time lead. Vaulks’ 25-yard free-kick flew past the Preston goalkeeper into the top of the net in stoppage time.
Preston’s best hope of getting level looked like coming from a set-piece from Gallagher and they came extremely close when he picked out Nmecha but his effort was clawed away by Rodak.
Rotherham made them pay in the 76th minute with half-time substitute Joe Newell bursting down the left flank and picking out Smith to head home at the back post.
This incredibly sprung Preston back into life and they pulled a goal back in the 78th minute through Nmecha, despite Richard Wood’s best efforts to stop the shot crossing the line.
Rotherham’s stand-in right-back Ajayi had to clear off the line from his own man as Smith diverted Nmecha’s cross goalwards in a period of immense pressure.