Rotherham United: Gillingham game in doubt as Millers wait on ‘The Beast’

Paul Warne
Paul Warne
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Rotherham United could fall victim to ‘The Beast from the East’ this weekend, with their League One clash at Gillingham under severe threat.

The promotion-chasing Millers, unbeaten in their last 14 matches, are due to face the Gills at Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.

But there has been heavy snow and freezing temperatures in Kent as a result of the Siberian weather front which has hit the UK, putting the fixture in doubt.

Rotherham’s fourth-placed squad are due to travel on Friday morning and the club are hoping a decision on a postponement will have been announced by then.

As seven inches of snow has fallen around Gillingham and temperatures have dropped to minus 10 degrees centigrade, the Gills have been forced to shut their club shop and ticket office.

More bad weather is expected before the weekend.

Michael Smith equalises against Doncaster Rovers

Michael Smith equalises against Doncaster Rovers

The Millers, who closed AESSEAL New York Stadium early today because of the wintry conditions in South Yorkshire, last travelled in vain in February 2014 during their third-tier promotion campaign under Steve Evans when their match at Colchester United was called off on the day of the game because of a waterlogged pitch.

Rotherham are on a run of seven straight wins and would much prefer to play this weekend than head to Gillingham for a rearranged contest on a Tuesday night.

In their last outing, at sold-out New York last Saturday, Paul Warne’s men beat derby rivals Doncaster Rovers 2-1 by scoring two goals in an amazing stoppage-time comeback.

The visitors angered home fans with their time-wasting tactics in the second half and Doncaster’s James Coppinger was in no rush to leave the field when he was substituted in the 92nd minute, a minute before the Millers equalised.

Joe Newell hits the winner against Rovers from the penalty spot

Joe Newell hits the winner against Rovers from the penalty spot

However, Warne defended the Rovers skipper

“In fairness to Coppinger, I wouldn’t want one of my players running off in that situation, unless the ref told them to,” the Rotherham boss said. “Loads of things happen in football. I have seen players sent over to the far side before teams make a sub so it takes longer for them to come off.

“I understand the frustration when he takes his armband off and gives it to another player and can’t leave the pitch if it’s creased. But It’s all part of the professionalism. I ain’t blaming him for that.”

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