. . . The Reds are going up!
Gillingham 0 Rotherham United 2
Rotherham United bounced back to the Championship by beating Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium sending them into League Two.
In just the second minute Chieo Ogbene found himself on the floor winning a free-kick which came to nothing before a cross from Michael Smith saw Ben Wiles rise to head over. A Wes Harding cross saw Michael Ihiekwe head highest but again he headed over the crossbar which was followed by another foul on Ogbene and another free-kick which Dan Barlaser bent in towards the back post but there was no player in red there to collect. Jordie Osei-Tutu had a shot which was put out for a corner before before Wiles did well to get himself into a good position but slipped at the wrong moment and the ball went out. Another Barlaser cross found Rarmani Edmonds-Green who saw his shot saved by a hand flung out by Aaron Chapman in the Gills’ goal. Stuart O’Keefe saw the first yellow of the afternoon after sending Ollie Rathbone flying and it was at the same time MK Dons gave all Millers fans the jitters by scoring at Plymouth sending Rotherham down into the play-offs. After Ogbene was fouled for the umpteenth time David Tutonda was the second home player to see yellow and after the free-kick was taken it eventually fell to Wiles who saw his shot hacked away but only as far as Ihiekwe who headed wide. At the other end a long throw wasn’t dealt with by the Millers with Barlaser eventually heading over, the corner being sent out for another long throw which Richard Wood headed to safety. Some good work from Rathbone saw him send a hopeful ball forward but Gillingham managed to clear before it reached Smith before Ogbene got into the box winning a corner for the visitors which Barlaser sent it to Wiles who couldn’t quite control it and it went out. Gillingham won a free-kick in a good position after Wiles allegedly sent Ben Reeves flying with Reeves himself taking it straight into the waiting arms of Millers’ ‘keeper Viktor Johansson. On thirty-four minutes a Barlaser cross was sent out for a corner which found Ihiekwe who headed down and there was Edmonds-Green to send the ball over the line to put Rotherham in the lead – and up to top place! And the Millers had a super chance just minutes later when Ogbene’s pace took him past his marker and down the pitch crossing the ball to Smith who had time to place the ball but instead sent it wide. MK Dons made it two-nil at Plymouth while the Millers defended another Ryan Jackson long throw. Rathbone tried his luck from distance seeing the ball go inches wide and an own goal for Wigan away at Shrewsbury put them back in pole position sending the Millers back to second. Edmonds-Green had some defending to do after Vadaine Oliver was allowed to get in behind the Millers defence followed by good foot work from Osei-Tutu to get the ball to Smith but the hosts clear. In time added on Oliver again tried to get around the Millers defence but this time Wood was there to stop him sending the ball out for a long throw which came at the same time as MK Dons task was made a little easier with a soft second yellow card for Jordan Houghton sending Plymouth down to ten men. The Millers sent the long throw out for a corner which came in and Ben Thompson let fly beating Johansson and hitting the underside of the crossbar – with the Millers fans in the crowd and watching back home letting out a sigh of relief plus other things!
The second half started with a foul on Jordi Osei-Tutu winning a free-kick which Dan Barlaser sent into the box but a collision saw Ryan Jackson down and referee Barrott blowing to allow treatment. As Wigan won and scored a penalty cementing their place at the top the Millers saw a Gillingham long throw fall to Max Emher whose shot was blocked before a good ball in fell to Vadaine Oliver whose effort was headed away by Rarmani Edmonds-Green. A long pass from Viktor Johansson found Ben Wiles who chested the ball into the path of the running Chieo Ogbene who let fly seeing the ball go wide. Richard Wood gave away a silly free-kick and received a yellow card and was probably lucky to see Conor Masterson put the ball past the post. A great save from goalkeeper Aaron Chapman saw him stop Wiles from scoring with the ball falling to Osei-Tutu who couldn’t control it. On the hour mark Olly Lee looked certain to equalise only for Barlaser to stick out a leg to stop him as MK Dons made it four-nil – as long as the Millers can keep in front. Oliver appears to start an argument and altercation with Wood with referee Barrott giving nothing. Chapman again did well to stick out a hand and keep a cracking shot from Wiles out. Two changes saw the Millers fetch on Joe Mattock for Jordi Osei-Tutu and the Gills Olly Lee make way for Musstapha Carayol while Wigan went three-up at Shrewsbury which should give them the title. As Ogbene tried to get away from his marker he was pulled to the ground with Ben Thompson getting a yellow before another change for the home side saw Daniel Phillips on for Conor Masterson. MK Dons made it five-nil but it still doesn’t matter .. . . A Wes Harding long throw was cleared by the Gills before Smith received treatment on the pitch with Georgie Kelly coming on in his place for his Rotherham debut. Another Barlaser corner found the head of Michael Ihiekwe who headed straight into Chapman’s waiting hands with Wes Harding being booked for something or other. A chip into the box from Barlaser found Kelly who knocked the ball up for Wood who headed home but his celebrations were cut short when he saw the linesman’s flag – and he was offside – agonising! Another change for Gillingham saw Gerald Sithole replaces David Tutonda. With two minutes to go the Millers fans could breathe more easily when the ball was played into the corner and Ogbene got the better of the home defender before sending a superb ball in for Kelly who didn’t need asking twice to hit a superb ball from the edge of the area past the motionless goalkeeper and into the back of the net sending Millers fans all over the world wild. Kelly who had only been on the pitch nine minutes making his debut, scoring a goal and receiving a yellow card for celebrating with his shirt off. But there were eight minutes of stoppage time put up on the board – surely we couldn’t mess this up now . . .. Another lovely cross from Ogbene was aimed towards Kelly who couldn’t quite get there followed by another Millers change seeing Hakeem Odoffin on for Ollie Rathbone. The Millers won a couple of corners before Jack Tucker saw a header go wide for the hosts before the referee finally blew the whistle with the celebrations starting straight away.
A season of ‘we are bound to go up’ to ‘we should go up’ to ‘are we going to throw this away’ to ‘well, another trip to Wembley’ to the final game of the season meaning so much. And the Millers delivered! What more can you say.
Attendance – 8,542
Referee – Samuel Barrott
. . . The Reds are going up!
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