Tranmere manager Micky Mellon made four enforced changes to his starting line-up from the Bristol Rovers fixture, with Sid Nelson, Darren Potter, Paul Mullin and Payne coming into the side in South Yorkshire.
Tranmere goalkeeper , and captain, Scott Davies was called into action with eight minutes played when Michael Smith’s deep cross from the right found Clark Robertson who saw his downward header easily gathered by the Rovers captain.
Up the other end on 18 minutes, Tranmere threatened through midfielder Kieron Morris after he received Connor Jennings’ neat pass, to cut inside on his left-foot from the right to force Millers stopper Daniel Iversen into a low save down to his left.
As the first half progressed on a sun-kissed afternoon, Rovers dealt with their hosts well, with Dan Barlaser’s free-kick from 25-yards blocked by the wall.
TRFC then had claims for a penalty waved away by referee Andy Haines in the closing five minutes of the opening period after Mullin played Morris in down the right, with his cross blocked and protests waved away.
Tranmere would survive a scare moments later, with Wiles’ effort inside the penalty area bouncing off the base of the post from Davies’ initial parry.
After the break, Rotherham substitute Chiedozie Ogbene galloped down the left before flashing the ball across goal, with Rovers’ full-back Liam Ridehalgh doing well to head behind for a corner.
Roared on by 982 of the SWA who had made the journey over the Pennines, Tranmere almost went ahead 12 minutes into the second half as Mullin found space on the right-side of the box and forced Iversen to tip his right-footed strike over the crossbar.
On the hour mark of an even contest, Paul Warne’s men were close at goal again but after connecting with Ogbene’s flighted cross from the left, he couldn’t keep his close-range volley down.
Rovers’ forward Jennings then spurned an inviting opportunity, using the outside of his boot to curl wide when well positioned after being fed by Mullin.
With 72 minutes gone, Rotherham were in front courtesy of Wiles, who pounced on a loose ball inside the six-yard box to steer right-footed past Davies into the top right corner after Matt Olosunde’s cross.
Tranmere were very close to levelling six minutes after conceding when Potter’s strike across goal took a deflection which missed the diving header of Payne.
From the resulting corner, Nelson met Morris’ left-sided set-piece though his header was fumbled by Iversen, with Payne’s goal-bound effort thwarted by Crooks.
However, in the last minute of stoppage time Tranmere’s good fortune finally came into place. When their persistence was rewarded when Stefan Payne bundled in past Iversen to secure a deserved point and send pandemonium across the away stand.
During the post match interview Mellon praised the ‘fantastic away following’ which ‘deserved a point for its none stop backing’. He was also pleased with his sides performance which hold its own in a very ‘physical and demanding fixture’. However, he confessed Tranmere had another injury blow : ‘Wilson has returned to West Brom as he picked up a knee injury in training’.