Millers FT: Gillingham 3, Rotherham United 4

Kieran Agard jumps for joy after putting the Millers ahead
Kieran Agard jumps for joy after putting the Millers ahead
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A sensational hat-trick from super-sub Tom Hitchcock sealed a dramatic 4-3 win for Rotherham United at Gillingham this afternoon.

They kicked off, it went back to Skarz who launched it forward. Up went Revell, the ball was glanced on for Frecklington who thought about a shot.

However, he slid a short pass into the path of Adams on the right, he drove the ball low across and AGARD arrived on cue to tap into the net from a couple of yards out. It was goal No 22 for him.

The home crowd were stunned, in marked contrast to the pretty decent following of Millers fans at the opposite end.

A few of them might even have seen Rotherham win on this ground but not too many times, that’s for sure.

The last win was back in 1988, a season in which they were relegated - and they have lost nine times in 12 visits since.

Gillingham FC v Rotherham United FC - SkyBet League 1 - 5th April 2014 - James Tavernier takes on Gillingham's Cody McDonald

Gillingham FC v Rotherham United FC - SkyBet League 1 - 5th April 2014 - James Tavernier takes on Gillingham's Cody McDonald

As you’d imagine it was a great boost for the Millers and they had the home side on the back foot for a spell, with Agard only just unable to turn goalwards a centre from Adams.

Then Barrett had to head away well before Tavernier sent a high free-kick which swirled on the breeze and drifted wide of the far angle.

Tavernier and then Morgan had to head away as the home side drew breath and began to push forward.

Rotherham were playing confidently and might have extended their lead when Adams pounced on a loose ball, slipped aside to Frecklington and his fierce shot was beaten out for a corner by Nelson.

Barrett then stuck out a desperate foot to stop Agard being put clear.

Gillingham were getting everyone back behind the ball in their own half - decent practice for the Millers for what’s to come on Tuesday - and they were having to defend strongly.

However, the Gills were lucky to survive an error. Tavernier swept onto an error. He moved into the area, lined up his shot and then drove it wide of the far post. He should have scored.

A quite superb move, which involved a number of players, had Gillingham chasing shadows. Adams was slipped into space and there was real danger but he managed to strike his centre way over everyone and high into the stand - then turned round and looked for a divot!

However on the half-hour Gillingham were level.

It looked a very ‘soft’ award when Morgan was penalised down the side of the area. Dack curled the free-kick to the far post and AKINFENWA used his bulk to hold off any challengers to head a simple equaliser.

Agard made a break, he sent Adams deep into the area and it needed a desperate intervention by Martin when the ball came across.

The speedy Weston fancied himself in a foot race with Tavernier as he knocked the ball a long way beyond him. But he’d picked on the wrong bloke and the Millers right back won out.

Both sides were grafting hard and despite the blustery conditions there was some really good football. But it was the simplest of moves that saw the Gills go in front on 57 minutes. A long, diagonal ball saw Tavernier caught out and WESTON was quickly onto it and he calmly slid his shot past Collin.

Rotherham almost replied immediately. A great ball in from Pringle just evaded Agard and Revell in front of goal and Adams shot was deflected for a corner.

Weston showed his sharpness again ending with a fierce shot Collin did well to turn behind.

Some patient passing ended with Smallwood spotting an opening and he threaded a ball into the path of HITCHCOCK who had timed his run perfectly. He took a touch for first time control and then rolled his shot past Nelson whilst the home side appealed for offside.

There was a blow for the Millers when Frecklington turned from a defender and then went down with what seemed a hamstring injury. Milsom went on.

Pringle who brought a fine save from Nelson and then, with seven minutes left, Arnason’s error left in DACK who chipped Collin to put the Gills 3-2 ahead.

However, in the 85th minute, Barrett failed to deal with a through ball and HITCHCOCK was on to it, and again calmly beat Nelson for the equaliser. And in the second minute of stoppage time HITCHCOCK produced a sensational finish with brilliant control and a superb angled lob over the keeper to complete a remarkable hat-trick from the sub.