Still top and 19 games unbeaten ... on-the-whistle report: Rotherham United 5 Gillingham 1

Freddie Ladapo scores. Picture by Kerrie BeddowsFreddie Ladapo scores. Picture by Kerrie Beddows
Freddie Ladapo scores. Picture by Kerrie Beddows
TABLE-TOPPING Rotherham United got the better of old boss Steve Evans as victory over lowly Gillingham kept them at the summit of League One tonight.

The former manager was back AESSEAL New Yorks Stadium, where he once won two promotions and watched in frustration as the Millers hit back from an early deficit against his Gills side to stretch their club-record unbeaten run to 19 games.

Goals from Freddie Ladapo, Mickel Miller, Dan Barlaser, two, and Chiedozie Ogbene completed the triumph for Paul Warne's men who were never at their best but had too much for the 21st-placed visitors who have now gone ten matches without a win.

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Rotherham could afford to miss a penalty as they cantered home against opponents who were reduced to ten men in the second half.

Their first sight of goal came after two minutes when Michael Smith should have done better than head Wes Harding's cross over the bar.

They found themselves behind three minutes later when they needlessly gave the ball away in midfield and Stuart O'Keefe capitalised to fee Ryan Jackson who crossed low  for Olly Lee to score the visitors' first goal in five matches.

It soon became one-way traffic as the Millers looked for an equaliser and Gills goalkeeper Aaron Chapman, who used to play local-league football in Rotherham, produced a superb, scrambling save to prevent an own goal.

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Ben Wiles shot wide, Michael Ihiekwe mistimed a header right in front of the net and Smith headed off target for the second time.

On a cold night at New York, the Millers were playing against a strong wind and began to struggle to make openings.

The scoreline suited the away side perfectly and boos were ringing round the stadium as early as the 28th minute as the time-wasting began in earnest.

Rotherham had been wasteful in possession but were back in the contest six minutes before the break.

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Chapman came sliding out to deal with the threat of Smith and Ladapo was on hand to see the loose ball over the line from close range.

The scorer blazed wide on 43 minutes when three teammates were in a better position and waiting for a pass that never came but it mattered little on the stroke of half-time as the home team took the lead.

After Ihiekwe had headed Barlaser's deep free-kick back across goal, the Gills cleared only as far as Miller on the edge of the area and the ball was promptly volleyed home, perhaps with the aid of deflection.

Centre-half Richard Wood's groin niggle kept him out of the Rotherham squad but wing-back Shane Ferguson returned on the bench after illness.

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Ihiekwe moved into the middle of the back three to cover for the captain's absence and Wes Harding came in on the left.

Gillingham, beset by injuries, were able to name only four substitutes and had to use one in the 11th minute when Max Ehmer damaged his shoulder.

Barlaser and Smith, twice, fired efforts over the bar within minutes of the restart, the second of Smith's misses being particularly glaring.

The Millers attacks kept coming and, just before the hour-mark, Ihiekwe was dragged down in the area and Barlaser maintained his 100 per cent spot-kick record by thumping the penalty home.

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Smith, trying yet again for his 16th goal of the campaign, was just wide on 65 minutes with a shot from just outside the area before Barlaser put a blemish on his run of penalty successes.

Ryan Jackson pulled back Ogbene and was sent off for a second yellow card but this time the midfielder could only rattle the bar from 12 yards.

He made amends in the 81st minute, rounding off a stunning move involving Ferguson, Wiles and Josh Kayode with a clinical finish into the bottom corner.

Harding was close to his first goal for the club as the clock ticked down, a Chapman save depriving him of a landmark moment in front of the North Stand.

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The game had long been over by the time Ogbene lashed in an 89th-minute pile-driver and Barlaser passed up a chance for a hat-trick.

Rotherham march on.

Rotherham (3-5-2): Viktor Johansson; Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Michael Ihiekwe, Wes Harding; Chiedozie Ogbene, Ben Wiles, Dan Barlaser, Ollie Rathbone, Mickel Miller (Shane Ferguson 64); Freddie Ladapo (Will Grigg 80), Michael Smith (, Josh Kayode 75). Subs not used: Josh Vickers, Joe Mattock, Jamie Lindsay, Hakeem Odoffin.

Gillingham (3-4-2-1): Aaron Chapman; Ryan Jackson, Max Ehmer (Harvey Lintott 11), Jack Tucker; Robbie McKenzie, Stuart O'Keefe, Daniel Phillips (Bailey Akehurst 73), Danny Lloyd; Olly Lee, Mustapha Carayol; John Akinde (Gerald Sithole H-T). Subs not used: Tom Crump.

Goals: Ladapo 39, Miller 45, Barlaser pen 59, 81, Ogbene 89 (Rotherham); Lee 5 (Gillingham).

Referee: Ross Joyce (Cleveland).

Attendance: 8,008 (164).