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Rotherham United 1 Gillingham 3 –League 1 match report

Josh Parker scored twice as Gillingham pulled off a shock result on Saturday.

Parker gave Gillingham a dream start by heading home after just three minutes.

Tom Eaves got Gills’ second, early in the second half, but the home side pulled one back through Moore.

Gillingham celebrate infront of their fans at the New York Stadium Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham celebrate infront of their fans at the New York Stadium Picture: Barry Goodwin

A late red card for home defender Joe Mattock was followed by Parker’s second moments later, with just three minutes left.

It was reward for a hard-working performance from Gillingham and another fabulous result for caretaker boss Steve Lovell, whose chances of getting the job will have heightened even further after this result.

There was just one change for the Gills as Bradley Garmston took over at left back, adding pace down that flank and being charged with keeping dangerous winger Ryan Williams quiet.

The Gills were ahead early on as Eaves made his presence felt, winning a corner from which Parker headed home, after Billy Bingham picked him out with a great cross.

Eaves was almost in again with 13 minutes gone. Bingham played a super ball through to Lee Martin and a low cross was met by the Gills striker, only to be denied by a last-ditch Micael Ihiekwe tackle.

It took the Millers some time to get into their stride but still couldn’t force a goal in the opening half. Big striker Moore headed over and Gills keeper Tomas Holy got behind several efforts.

The Gills keeper made saves from Joe Newell and Williams, before a one-handed stop from Richie Towell’s shot had to be hacked clear by Gabriel Zakuani.

The Gills were relying on catching Rotherham out on the break, with Sean Clare making several surging runs forward, but the home side remained behind at half time.

A sub for the Gills at the break saw Garmston withdrawn for Connor Ogilvie, with the injury-plagued defender chatting with medical man Gary Hemens as the players went off.

The Gills hit the hosts with a hammer blow just three minutes after the restart when Martin held the ball up, Jake Hessenthaler crossed in and Eaves got down low to head home a second goal. It was Eaves’ sixth of the season and first away from home.

Moore halved the deficit with 57 minutes gone, latching onto a ball over the top, fending off the attentions of Zakuani and finishing well as the ball dropped over his shoulder.

Home sub Jon Taylor came close to an equaliser from distance, forcing Holy into a save after hitting a shot on the volley.

Gillingham were forced into another defensive reshuffle when Zakuani limped off. Regular right-sided defender Luke O’Neill, back after injury, took over at left-back and Ogilvie moved into the centre.

Holy saved from a Moore header but the hosts were left playing with 10 men after Joe Mattock picked up two yellow cards in the space of a minute, the first for a heavy challenge on Scott Wagstaff and then the second after players from both teams squared up.

Rotherham found themselves 3-1 down moments later as Parker got his second of the game, heading home a Bingham corner.

“Scally, Scally sign him up” was the response from the away fans, cheering on caretaker boss Lovell from behind the goal.

Rotherham: Rodak, Cummings, Ihiekwe, Wood, Mattock, Williams (Yates 90mins), Potter, Towell (Ball 54mins), Newell, Forde (Taylor 54mins), Moore. Subs not used: O'Donnell, Emmanuel, Ajayi, Clarke-Harris.

Gillingham: Holy, Clare, Garmston (Ogilvie 46mins), Ehmer, Zakuani (O’Neill 69mins), Bingham, Hessenthaler, Martin, Parker, Eaves, List (Wagstaff 58mins). Subs not used: Nelson, Wilkinson, Cundle, Byrne.

Attendance: 7,865 (274 away)

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