Rotherham seal maximum points at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.
Gillingham endured a tough afternoon at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday afternoon, losing 3-0 to promotion chasing Rotherham United.
Despite Jack Bonham keeping out Michael Smith’s early penalty, Rotherham went in 2-0 up at the break thanks to goals from Smith and Matt Crooks.
The Gills put in an improved performance after the break, though Crooks added his second late on to secure victory for the away side as the hosts sent men forward to set up a tense finale.
Gillingham manager Steve Evans made one change from the team that won 1-0 at Accrington Stanley last week, with Alex Jakubiak coming into the side in place of Mikael Mandron.
Rotherham had the first chance in the opening minutes, as Joe Mattock found room down the left and crossed for Chiedozie Ogbene, but Tommy O’Connor did superbly to deny him.
After 17 minutes, Rotherham were awarded a penalty for a challenge on Richard Wood in the area. Michael Smith stepped up for the visitors, but was brilliantly denied by Jack Bonham in the Gills goal.
Smith was on the scoresheet just moments later however, capitalising on a mix up between Bonham and Connor Ogilvie to tap into an empty net, making it 0-1.
The home side responded, and had their first real chance after 23 minutes, when Jack Tucker’s header found Brandon Hanlan, but he couldn’t divert his shot on target.
Just before half-time, Rotherham doubled their lead. Matt Crooks beat Ogilvie to the ball on the halfway line, before brilliantly lobbing the ball over Bonham from 35 yards out. 0-2.
H/T: Gillingham 0-2 Rotherham United
Rotherham had the second half’s first opportunity, as Joe Mattock’s cross found Crooks, who saw his header comfortably saved by Bonham. The Gills first chance fell to Alex Jakubiak, who got on the end of a long pass forward before his effort was blocked by Wood.
They came close again on the hour mark as O’Connor’s free-kick eventually dropped to Max Ehmer, whose shot was deflected just over the bar.
With 65 minutes played, Gillingham made their first two changes, as Mikael Ndjoli and Olly Lee came on to replace Alex Jakubiak and Regan Charles-Cook. Byrne had the Gills next effort after being found by O’Connor, but he curled his shot over the bar.
At the other end, Smith set up Ben Wiles to have a go from range, but he dragged his shot wide of the post. With 15 minutes left, the Gills made their final change, as Mark Marshall replaced Jack Tucker.
Ndjoli was the next man to try his luck from the corner of the penalty area, but he curled his effort wide of the far post. Byrne came as close as any Gills player had with ten minutes to play when he was found by Ndjoli, but his shot was well saved by Daniel Iversen in the Rotherham goal.
The Millers wrapped it up with a third in the final minutes, as substitute Carlton Morris played in Crooks, who slipped his shot beyond Bonham for 0-3.
Olly Lee had the final effort of the game, with his effort from range well stopped by Iversen.
F/T: Gillingham 0-3 Rotherham United
Gillingham: Bonham, Tucker (Marshall 75), Ehmer, Ogilvie, O’Connor, O’Keefe, Jones, Byrne, Charles-Cook (Lee 65), Hanlan, Jakubiak (Ndjoli 65)
Unused Subs: Royce, Hodson, Mandron, Pringle
Rotherham United: Iversen, Jones, Ihiekwe, Wood, Mattock (Ladapo 87), Ogbene (Olosunde 69), Lindsay, Wiles, Clarke (Morris 45), Crooks, Smith
Unused Subs: Price, Barlaser Hastie, Lamy
Referee: Mr L Swabey
Attendance: 4,893 (352 away)