AFTER three successive away defeats perhaps one of the last places Rotherham United would be wanting next up for an away trip is to go to one of their least successful grounds of recent times.
They head today for Gillingham, one of their promotion rivals, aiming to check a record at the Priestfield Stadium that has been pretty bleak over the past 30 years.
In that time they’ve won just once in 15 visits and that was back in 1988, close to the end of what was to be a relegation season to the bottom level.
Since that 1988 win, they have been to the Medway town nine times which have brought seven defeats and two draws.
“People tell me we’ve not got a great record there but it won’t be affecting us and, if anything, should make us more determined to put things right,” said Millers boss Ronnie Moore.
“What I do know is that regardless of what the record is, good or bad, it is a difficult place to go. It is another important game against another side up there but I’m confident that if we show what we are capable of, show the workrate and commitment and effort we did on Saturday and have belief, then we can come away with a result.”
The game throws together two of the leading marksmen in the division, Adam Le Fondre and Cody McDonald whose 15 goals puts him four behind the Millers marksman.
The players alongside them are key as well, with the bulky Adebayo Akinfenwa proving a perfect foil for the speedy McDonald. Gills boss Andy Hessenthaler said after his side’s 0-0 home draw with Chris Wilder’s Oxford on Saturday that Oxford had made it difficult for them to get the ball into Akinfenwa.
Ryan Taylor set up Le Fondre’s goal and produced a stunning finish against Crewe, his eighth of a season that never really started until late October due to injury.
“It was a fantastic finish, the sort of goal that typifies his growing confidence and also adds to it,” said Moore. “The previous week he scored a different type of goal and it all helps him.”
Gillingham won seven out of eight from mid-November. They have lost only two of their last 13 - at Wycombe and home to Chesterfield.