Gills Make April Fools Of Millers
1st April 2013
Attendance: 6,796 (360 very cold Millers)
Former Rotherham United player Deon Burton came back to beat the Millers this afternoon at Priestfield when he scored the only goal of the game for Gillingham on twenty-two minutes.
It was an even game for the opening minutes at a very cold Priestfield with the first shot of any note coming from Daniel Nardiello for the visitors ten minutes into the game which went across goal. Three minutes later the Millers defence let Adam Barrett in and only a finger tip save from Scott Shearer in the visitors goal stopped him opening the scoring. Minutes later Barrett found himself in space again but his shot went well over the bar and into the crowd. A Kari Arnason free-kick was easily saved by Gills` 'keeper Stuart Nelson and at the other end a Charlie Allen free-kick was blocked and put away to safety. With the home side pushing more and more up front the inevitable happened on twenty-two minutes when top scorer Danny Kedwell put Deon Burton through and the former Miller stabbed home from close range. The Gills nearly made it two when Anton Robinson`s low shot went through a crowded penalty area but straight into Shearer`s arms while Chris Whelpdale was unlucky to see his effort from just inside the box hit the crossbar and go out to safety. As half-time approached a David Noble free-kick found the head of Craig Morgan and with Arnason looking to pounce Joe Martin cleared the ball.
The home side started the second half well but it was Nardiello who should have done better and equalised after finding himself in space he put his shot across goal with nobody there to collect. At the other end Michael O`Connor, on for Noble, did well to deflect a fierce shot from Whelpdale while Burton forced Shearer into punching the ball away. Nardiello had a glorious chance to equalise on fifty-seven minutes when he was played clean through on goal by Daniel Kearns but the Millers top scorer hesitated before shooting and in the end it was a simple save for Nelson. Kayode Odejayi came on for Nardiello and his first action was to force a corner but it came to nothing. Twenty minutes from time the Gills should have been two-up when a Kedwell shot rattled the crossbar again and minutes later Burton had a chance but he lifted his shot over the bar. Shearer came to the rescue on seventy-five minutes when Kedwell shot through a crowd of players and the Millers 'keeper did well to get fingertips to it and get it to safety. It was similar at the other end when O`Connor`s fierce volley was destined for the top corner but Nelson got fingertips to the ball at the last moment to put it out for a corner. With all the pressure coming from the visitors in the final minutes of the game Kearns got round the back of Matt Fish and then the Gills defender blocked the Irish midfielder who couldn`t do anything but go down and with the Millers players, bench and fans all expecting a penalty referee Oliver Langford waved the appeals away and in time added on a Revell header went high over the bar.
Once again it`s a case of could have/should have but didn`t for the Millers who missed a few chances to get a point today from the league leaders.