Ten man Gills fall to defeat in South Yorkshire.
Dan Barlaser scored twice as ten-man Gillingham were beaten 5-1 at the New York Stadium on Tuesday night.
Olly Lee had given Gillingham the lead early on after thumping home from six yards out. However, Rotherham scored twice before half-time to get in front through Freddie Ladapo and Mickel Miller.
Dan Barlaser made it three as he scored from the penalty spot, but missed his second spot kick of the night after Ryan Jackson was shown a second yellow card for the foul. Barlaser did get his second as he finished off a Rotherham counter-attack by drilling a shot into the far bottom corner. Chiedozie Ogbene made it five at the death as his thumping shot cannoned off the crossbar before going into the back of the net.
Steve Evans named Dan Phillips back in his starting XI for the game, having missed the loss to Portsmouth with injury.
Aaron Chapman replaced Jamie Cumming, who missed the game due to COVID.
In the fifth minute, Olly Lee gave Gillingham the lead. Stuart O’Keefe did well to win possession inside the Rotherham half and drove towards the penalty area. He laid it into the path of Ryan Jackson, who played a low cross towards the six-yard box. Lee was the man to meet it and fired into the top corner.
Shortly afterwards, Gills were forced into a change as Max Ehmer went down with a shoulder injury. He could not continue and was replaced by Harvey Lintott.
Michael Smith came close to equalising in the 17th minute. A cross into the box saw him rise highest, but his header towards the goal looped just wide of the post.
In the 39th minute, Rotherham equalised through Freddie Ladapo. A long ball forward found its way into the Gills penalty area, and Gills were unable to clear. It went beyond Aaron Chapman, and Ladapo was able to place it into an empty net.
On the stroke of half-time, Mickel Miller gave Rotherham the lead. A free-kick into the box was headed as far as Miller, who shot on the half volley. It took a deflection on its way to the goal and found the bottom corner with Chapman’s view obstructed.
HALF-TIME: Rotherham United 2-1 Gillingham
Dan Barlaser came close to scoring directly from a corner in the 57th minute. A curled delivery was heading towards the goal, and Chapman had to push it out for a corner on the other side.
From the delivery, Rotherham won a penalty after Robbie McKenzie committed a foul inside the box. Barlaser took the spot-kick and drilled it high and into the middle as Chapman dived to his left.
Lloyd had a half chance to bring the score to 3-2, but inside the box he chose to pass to sub, Gerald Sithole, who was a yard short of the loose ball and Rotherham were able to clear.
In the 71st minute, Ryan Jackson was shown a second yellow card after he gave away a penalty. Chiedozie Ogbene used a burst of pace to get beyond Jackson, who held him back before the pacey forward went down inside the box. The referee pointed to the spot and gave Jackson his marching orders.
Barlaser took the penalty but was unable to extend Rotherham’s lead. He stuck with his tactic from the first one and drilled it down the middle, but he struck it against the crossbar with Chapman standing his ground.
With less than ten minutes to go, Barlaser grabbed his second. Gills were caught on the counter, and the ball was played to Barlaser on the edge of the box, and he drilled his shot into the far corner leaving Chapman with little chance of saving it.
Will Harding forced Chapman into a save in the 84th minute. Harding cut the ball onto his right foot before curling a shot towards the bottom corner. Chapman did well to get down to it and push it beyond the post for a corner, which came to nothing.
Ogbene made it five in the 89th minute. He cut inside on his left foot before striking a fierce shot from the edge of the box. It took a slight deflection on its way to goal as it cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and went in.
FULL-TIME: Rotherham United 5-1 Gillingham
Rotherham United: Johansson, Harding, Barlaser, Ihiekwe, Edmonds-Green, Ogbene, Rathbone, Wiles, Miller (Ferguson 64’), Ladapo (Grigg 80’), Smith (Kayode 75’)
Unused Substitutes: Vickers, Mattock, Lindsay, Odoffin
Gillingham: Chapman, Jackson, Ehmer (Lintott 11’), Tucker, McKenzie, O’Keefe, Phillips (Akehurst 73’), Lloyd, Lee, Carayol, Akinde (Sithole 46’)
Unused Substitutes: Crump
Referee: Ross Joyce
Attendance: 8008 (164 Gills fans)