Captain Sean McConville scored the winner to celebrate John Coleman and Jimmy Bell’s 20 -years in charge of Accrington over two spells in style.
McConville’s scissor kick found the top corner of the net in the 75th minute as the Reds halted table-topping Rotherham’s 21-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
In front of a bumper crowd of 4870 on Boxing Day, Stanley impressed against the league leaders and are now looking up the table from tenth place.
Coleman made one change from the side which beat Bolton last time out with Mitch Clark coming in for Harvey Rodgers in defence.
After the presentation for John and Jimmy before the match by owner Andy Holt, it was Rotherham who had the first chance, Freddie Ladapo’s effort after a minute was well-saved by Toby Savin.
As the game went from end to end, McConville had an effort blocked while Lapado was again denied by Savin with Yeboah Amankwah pouncing on the rebound to deny the waiting frontman another chance at goal.
Ex-Reds loan striker Michael Smith had a goalbound effort blocked by Ross Sykes while Stanley’s Jovan Malcolm saw his strike deflected into the side netting.
Colby Bishop had the ball in the net on 18 minutes but was ruled out for off-side while Ethan Hamilton’s effort was well-saved by Johansson in a competitive match.
Sykes cleared a Smith header off the line while, after good work from Malcolm, twisting and turning on the edge of the area, Tommy Leigh fired straight at Johansson.
At the end of the half, Smith had a free header but that was straight at Savin and Hamilton fired at Johansson as neither side could break the deadlock in the first half.
In the second half, Leigh wasn’t far off with a long range curling strike while ex-Red Michael Ihiekwe had a goalbound header which was headed clear as the game spun from end to end.
Leigh had a great chance on the hour mark when he raced clean through but his strike from a tight angle was kept out by Johansson.
There were goalmouth scrambles at both ends as both sides chased the opener.
Stanley took the lead on 75 minutes when Leigh’s long throw was cleared back to him, he put the ball back in, the Rotherham defence failed to clear their lines and McConville’s scissor kick found the top of the net.
Stanley: Savin, Amankwah, Sykes, Nottingham, Clark, Hamilton, Leigh (Pell), Coyle (Butcher), McConville, Malcolm (O’Sullivan), Bishop
Subs: Trafford, Mansell, Patrick, Nolan
Attendance: 4,870 (2,229 from Rotherham)