Eaves had put the Tigers 1-0 up early on but the Millers hit back to lead 2-1 at half time despite being reduced to ten men during the opening 45 minutes. However, Eaves then levelled matters midway through the second half before heading in the winner in added time to spark joyous scenes amongst almost 2,000 travelling fans.
Grant McCann made eight changes to his starting line-up with only Reece Burke, Daniel Batty and Eaves remaining from the side that started at Sheffield Wednesday on New Year’s Day. Keane Lewis-Potter was one of those coming in as he made his first senior start for the Club, while Herbie Kane made his debut after arriving on loan from Liverpool on Friday. Burke wore the captain’s armband, while the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki provided back-up from the bench.
Rotherham, flying high in League One, made just the one change as Kyle Vassell came into their attack for Freddie Ladapo.
The game kicked-off at 12.31pm as both clubs united in support of The FA’s Take A Minute campaign, which encourages everyone to take a moment to think about their own mental health and that of others.
A vocal away following roared the Tigers on to an early attack down the right as Josh Bowler made progress, but a shirt pull on the edge of the Rotherham box saw the home side awarded a free kick.
Vassell sent a shot over the bar for the hosts while a Ben Wiles cross drifted onto the roof of Ingram’s net.
It was a relatively quiet opening, though, until the Tigers took the lead in the 16th minute. Batty was the provider as he found space on the right edge of the box before squaring for Eaves to finish low past Daniel Iversen.
The lead lasted just five minutes, though, as Rotherham hit back to level matters. Chiedozie Ogbene’s low cross from the right was controlled well by Michael Smith and he turned to fire in from 15 yards.
A lively few minutes then continued as Rotherham defender Adam Thompson was shown a straight red card for a horrible challenge on Lewis-Potter that left the teenager in need of treatment, although he recovered to continue.
The Tigers struggled to make any headway against the ten men, though, and it was the Millers that scored next to take the lead two minutes before half time as Vassell smashed a stunning shot past Ingram from the edge of the box.
Fleming made an important challenge early in the second half to deny Ogbene a strike at goal from inside the box before a triple substitution saw Bowen, Grosicki and Jackson Irvine replace Brandon Fleming, Bowler and Batty.
Bowen soon saw a shot turned away by Iversen before the Tigers surely should have had a penalty when Eaves had his shirt pulled as he saw a far post header saved by the goalkeeper.
Eaves kept going, though, and equalised in the 66th minute with a fine header from Kane’s cross, the goal eventually given after the referee had consulted his assistant for something that nobody else had seen.
The Tigers were now on top and a foul on Lewis-Potter gave the visitors a free kick right on the edge of the box. Grosicki took it but sent a low effort straight into the hands of Iversen.
Irvine curled a shot just over after linking up well with Grosicki down the left edge of the box, before Grosicki himself was denied by Iversen.
The Tigers pushed for a winner and it arrived during five minutes of added on time. Rotherham couldn’t deal with a ball into their box and there was Eaves to complete his hat-trick with another well-taken header.
Rotherham United: Daniel Iversen, Adam Thompson, Richard Wood, Kyle Vassell (Jamie Lindsay 71), Ben Wiles, Dan Barlaser, Matt Crooks, Chiedozie Ogbene (Freddie Ladapo 78), Michael Ihiekwe, Matt Olosunde, Michael Smith (Michael Smith 90).
Subs Not Used: Lewis Price, Trevor Clarke, Jake Hastie, Julien Lamy.
Hull City: Matt Ingram; Robbie McKenzie, Reece Burke, Ryan Tafazolli, Brandon Fleming (Jarrod Bowen 61); Daniel Batty (Jackson Irvine 61), Leonardo Da Silva Lopes, Herbie Kane; Josh Bowler (Kamil Grosicki 61), Keane Lewis-Potter, Tom Eaves.
Subs Not Used: George Long, Eric Lichaj, Sean McLoughlin, George Honeyman.
Referee: Mr A. Backhouse.
Attendance: 6,044 (1,803 Visiting Supporters).