On-the-whistle report: Gillingham 0 Rotherham United 3

By Paul Davis | 02/11/2019

On-the-whistle report: Gillingham 0 Rotherham United 3
Matt Crooks scores. Picture by Trevor Price

A WONDER-STRIKE from two-goal Matt Crooks helped Rotherham United extend their scorching away run and move to within two points of the League One play-off places.

The Millers saw off Gillingham 3-0 at Priestfield Stadium as they racked up their fifth win in eight games on their travels.

The moment of the match came in the 43rd minute when midfielder Crooks spotted Jack Bonham off his line and used the swirling wind superbly to lob the home goalkeeper from around 30 yards.

His superb effort added to an earlier goal from Michael Smith and helped Paul Warne's men climb to tenth in the table, among a pack of clubs ready to push for the top six.

Rotherham played the wet, windy conditions and the opposition to perfection.

Gills boss Steve Evans, once manager of the Millers, didn't like what he was seeing and was booked for his complaining by referee Lee Swabey.

Smith went from villain to hero in a matter of seconds in the first half.

Rotherham were awarded a 19th-minute penalthy when Richard Wood was impeded at a corner and the striker saw his spot-kick well-saved by Bonham.

But only a further minute had passed before the big forward took advantage of Bonham's slip near the edge of the area to run in on goal and tap the ball into an empty net.

The visitors got away very lightly in the 41st minute as Michael Ihiekwe went unpunished for tugging back Brandon Hanlan just outside the area to stop the Gills striker going one on one with Daniel Iversen.

Two minutes later, the contest was lit up by Crooks' stunning effort.

The Gills pressed in the second half but the hard-working Millers stood firm so well that Evans' team didn't muster an effort on target until Daniel Iversen brilliantly kept out Mark Byrne's 80th-minute, low drive.

Crooks even tried a second lob. It was tame and didn't trouble Bonham.

But the Rotherham man wasn't finished. Two minutes from time he found himself clear of the Gillingham defence and swept the ball home.

Gillingham (4-3-1-2): Jack Bonham; Jack Tucker (Mark Marshall 76), Max Ehmer, Connor Ogilvie, Tom O'Connor; Stuart O'Keefe, Alfie Jones, Mark Byrne; Regan Charles-Cook (Oliver Lee 67); Brandon Hanlan, Alex Jakubiak (Mikael Ndjoli 67). Subs not used: Simon Royce, Lee Hodson, Mikael Mandron, Ben Pringle.

Rotherham (4-4-1-1): Daniel Iversen; Billy Jones, Michael Ihiekwe, Richard Wood, Joe Mattock (Freddie Ladapo 87); Chiedozie Ogbene (Matt Olosunde 70), Ben Wiles, Jamie Lindsay, Trevor Clarke (Carlton Morris H-T); Matt Crooks; Michael Smith. Subs not used: Lewis Price, Dan Barlaser, Julien Lamy, Jake Hastie.

Goals: Smith 20, Crooks 43, 88 (Rotherham).

Referee: Lee Swabey (Devon).

Attendance: 4,893 (352).


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