In-Form Gills beat Millers
8 February 2011 7.45pm
Rotherham United fell to a fourth away defeat in a row this evening against an in-form Gillingham side at the Priestfield Stadium.
The Millers started the brighter and on five minutes Marcus Marshall had a shot towards goal but Lawrence got back and blocked the shot. A minute later Ryan Taylor and Ian Thomas-Moore played a neat one two but Taylor's shot went just past the post. From that, the home side broke clear and Cody McDonald got clean through with just Andy Warrington to beat and he put the ball past him for his sixteenth goal of the season. A minute later, the Millers got an equaliser when a
free-kick was smashed into the back of the net by Nicky Law past a motionless Alan Julian in the Gills' net. In the next ten minutes Warrington did well to save from McDonald while Johnny Mullins clears from Curtis Weston and Dale Tonge gets back well after a Mullins slip let in McDonald and clears. On twenty-five minutes Law puts in a good ball for Nick Fenton but the stand-in skipper put the ball over the bar. On twenty-eight minutes, a poor challenge from Curtis Weston on Andy Warrington, after the Millers 'keeper had the ball in his hands, ended with Warrington having to be replaced by Jamie Annerson. Warrington, who had a head injury, was applauded by both sets of fans as he left the field. The first thing Jamie Annerson had to do was four minutes later was to pick the ball out of the net after an excellent ball from Kevin Maher found McDonald, who skipped round the Millers defence and blasted the ball into the far corner. It was all the home side after this and they had free-kicks and corners until time added on in the first half when Ryan Taylor had a curling shot which Julian did well to save.
The second half started with the Millers making their second substitute of the night with Marcus Marshall being replaced by Mark Randall. Looking like they'd had a flea in their ears, the Millers start well and Adam Le Fondre has a shot in the opening minute but it goes well over the bar followed by a shot from Ryan Taylor that went wide while, at the other end, Jamie Annerson did well to save a shot from Barry Fuller. A mellee then took place in the centre circle with some pushing between Le Fondre and Adebayo Akinfenwa which Jason Taylor also got involved with. Le Fondre and Akinfenwa got yellow cards and, when most Millers feared that Jason Taylor would receive his second red of the season, referee Darren Sheldrake seemed to ignore his part in the incident. Mark Randall should have done better when he got the ball from Ryan Taylor on fifty-six minutes but his shot went well wide. On the hour mark McDonald should have had his hat-trick after a low shot from Weston wasn't caught cleanly by Annerson and fell to the Gills top scorer but the Millers stand-in 'keeper brought off an excellent save from six yards out. The visitors were on the back foot now and McDonald missed chance after chance as well as Jack Payne headed over from a Weston cross. In the final fifteen minutes Rotherham had a couple of chances to equalise. Firstly from Law who ghosted in at the far post, forcing Julian to make a fantastic save and ten minutes later Le Fondre looked odds on to score after Tom Newey got the ball to Randall whose blocked shot fell to the Millers striker who fired over with the net empty from five yards out. The Millers players appealed for handball but the referee was having none of it. That seemed to deflate the visitors and it was no surprise when the Gills got a third goal from Dennis Oli, on for Weston, whose first shot was parried by Annerson but his follow up went into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
With Bury and Shrewsbury winning this evening, this was really three points the Millers could have done with, as they slip out of the promotion places to fourth.
although Mark Randall battled well after coming on for the second half