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Rotherham United 1-3 Gillingham: Lovell’s boys bounce back at Millers

Two Josh Parker goals and a Tom Eaves header gave Gillingham a superb away win at the New York Stadium



Credit: Kent Pro Images
Kent Pro Images

Just when you thought the Gills were set to fall into another depressing run of results, Steve Lovell takes his Gillingham side to Rotherham and picks up a huge away win.

The Millers were sitting pretty in the promotion play-off places prior to kick-off, and had the division’s top scorer Kieffer Moore leading their forward line.

But, despite the crushing disappointment of their home defeat to Northampton at Priestfield last weekend, the Gills produced another memorable display to pick up their second awayday win under caretaker boss Lovell.

Gillingham raced into an early lead, with Josh Parker finding the net from Billy Bingham’s second-minute corner.

And big striker Tom Eaves doubled the Gills’ advantage early in the second half, burying a diving header from a Jake Hessenthaler cross to send the travelling Gills fans into raptures.

Things got a little twitchy for the Gills when Moore pulled one back for Rotherham after a long ball over the top undid the Gills’ back four and his shot sneaked in at the near post. Then influential centre-half Gabriel Zakuani was forced off the field with an injury.

By that stage it was all Rotherham as they piled players forward in search of an equaliser, but Gillingham’s re-jigged defence, with Spurs loanee Connor Ogilvie deputising at centre-half alongside Max Ehmer, held firm.

And, after Millers defender Joe Mattock was dismissed, seemingly for stupidity, with five minutes to go, the Gills did the unthinkable and netted a third, with Parker converting another Bingham corner to secure the three points with just four minutes to go.

It meant Gillingham snapped Rotherham’s five-game winning streak at home, picked up their third win of the season and their second under Lovell – both against promotion-chasing sides.

The win moves Gillingham up one place in the League One table. They remain in the bottom four, but now sit just one point from safety.

It also takes caretaker boss Steve Lovell’s league record to two wins, one draw and one defeat from his four games in charge – seven points from a possible 12.

With the fans chanting for Lovell to stay in charge, Paul Scally must surely start to wonder if the answer to his managerial vacancy is right under his nose.

And after six league games without a permanent boss, it’s high time he made an appointment.

Gills XI vs Rotherham

Holy, Clare, Ehmer, Zakuani (O’Neill 69), Garmston (Ogilvie 45), Bingham, Hessenthaler, Martin, Parker, Eaves, List (Wagstaff 58)

Unused subs: Nelson, Wilkinson, Cundle, Byrne