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Gills relegated from League One as they lose 2-0 to Rotherham United at Priestfield

Gillingham fans have been left heartbroken after the team's defeat this afternoon ended their hopes of League One survival.

The club lost their crunch final match of the season against Rotherham 2-0 in front of over 8,500 fans at Priestfield.

Manager Neil Harris' team needed to get at least a point and hope other results went their way.

As it transpired, just a draw would have given the Gills the one point they needed to avoid the relegation trapdoor.

But Rotherham's first-half goal put them in the driving seat and a second just minutes before full-time secured the win which sent the Gills down and saw the Millers promoted as runners-up.

The mood at Priestfield was in complete contrast to that just 10 miles away later in the afternoon as non-league Maidstone United were promoted back to the National League.

They won the National League South title in front of over 3,700 fans at the Gallagher, beating Chelmsford 3-1. Dorking lost 1-0 at St Albans, leaving the Stones seven points clear at the top with just two games left to play.

Maidstone fans rush on to the pitch to celebrate their promotion. Picture: Eddie Waddell (56384460)
Maidstone fans rush on to the pitch to celebrate their promotion. Picture: Eddie Waddell (56384460)

Gillingham's relegation marks the first time they have fallen back into the lowest tier of the Football League since they secured promotion in the 2012/13 season.

The club had previously been as high as the Championship.

The Gills have experienced a troubled season - with manager Steve Evans sacked earlier this year as the club's form slumped. Neil Harris' arrival saw the club's form improve - but not enough to save them from relegation.

Speaking after the game, Neil Harris said: "Ultimately, I am the manager of the football club and I take responsibility on behalf of the football club for letting our fans down this season.

“The standards, the professionalism, the recruitment, it hasn’t been good enough, and we have paid the price.

“We made some quick gains, we have been relegated on goal difference, with 40 points, we haven’t got to 45-46, or 47 points, which you normally need in this division, so we have gone as far as we can."

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