Rother­ham’s Tom Hitch­cock scores a hat-trick as the Millers win 4-3 at Gilling­ham in League One –

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Nick Bull

THIS was a day of records for Rother­ham United. Sub­sti­tute Tom Hitch­cock's 21-minute hat-trick ex­tended the Millers’ un­beaten run to an im­pres­sive 16 games, and ended their win­less se­quence at the Pri­est­field which dated back to May 1988.

A play-off place is theirs now, at least, and they leapfrogged Ley­ton Ori­ent into third af­ter this en­thralling en­counter against a team who came up with them from League Two last sea­son.

“We’ve got in the play-offs and a lot of man­agers will be dis­ap­pointed at their judge­ment at the start of the sea­son,” said Millers boss Steve Evans. “They made some rubbish pre­dic­tions be­cause they said we’d fight to stay up.”

The tone of this game was set af­ter just 13 sec­onds, when United’s top scorer Kieran Agard latched onto Nicky Adams’ cross-turned-shot to give the vis­i­tors the lead. It was his 20th of the sea­son.

“They got through us too eas­ily, but if you’re go­ing to go a goal down, you might as well go a goal down that early on, be­cause you’ve got time to get it back,” said Gills man­ager Peter Tay­lor.

Come back they did, as Ade­bayo Ak­in­fenwa lev­elled the tie half an hour in with his tenth of the cam­paign, head­ing home from Bradley Dack’s free-kick.

This gal­vanised the hosts, and

PIC­TURES: Max Flego

HAT-TRICK HERO: Tom Hitch­cock is mobbed by Ben Pringle af­ter his win­ner for Rother­ham

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