THE MILLERS to give high fly­ers ver­tigo

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when Myles We­ston latched onto El­liott He­witt’s through ball to slot past Adam Collin to put the hosts in front 12 min­utes af­ter the break, it was ar­guably what they de­served.

We­ston nearly added a third shortly af­ter, but Collin did well to tip his pow­er­ful near-post ef­fort wide.

This is when the Hitch­cock show started. In­tro­duced on the hour mark, the on-loan QPR for­ward had only been on the pitch for nine min­utes when he beat the off­side trap to coolly fin­ish from six yards to make it 2-2.

Just as United were get­ting closer to a third, Bradley Dack cap­i­talised on a mis­take from Kari Ar­na­son to put the Gills back in front with a bril- liant chip with six min­utes re­main­ing.

How­ever, Hitch­cock equalised again barely a minute later with a neat fin­ish af­ter Adam Bar­rett mis-hit his clear­ance, and com­pleted his hat­trick in the first minute of stop­page time with a bril­liant curl­ing lob.

This trig­gered a cel­e­bra­tion from Evans that was rem­i­nis­cent of that of an­other United man­ager (and fel­low Scot), Sir Alex Fer­gu­son, when the lat­ter’s team clinched their first Pre­mier League ti­tle in 1993. “My sub­sti­tu­tions are nor­mally aw­ful but that’s the sub­sti­tu­tion of all time that one,” joked Evans af­ter­wards.

“He [Hitch­cock] looked par­ticu- STAR MAN TOM HITCHC

OCK Rotherh

am larly bright in the re­serves on Mon­day, and there was a thought to start him, but the team’s been go­ing so well we left him on the bench.

“He’s a young man who’s go­ing to play at a good level and he’s got a fan­tas­tic hat-trick.

“Did we de­serve to win yes by a coun­try mile? Yes, we did.We’ve got a goal in 12 sec­onds then Lee Freck­ling­ton’s brought down in the box and we should have had a penalty but the ref­eree’s apol­o­gised to us at half-time so we’ll give him credit for that.”

Evans ended his af­ter­noon speak­ing to Kent Po­lice, and al­though United de­clined to com­ment on the in­ci­dent, it is be­lieved it is to do with the re­cep­tion he re­ceived from home fans.

The Gilling­ham play­ers also felt ag­grieved af­ter the game; they be­lieved that Hitch­cock’s first and third were scored from off­side po­si­tions.

Tay­lor added: “You’ve still got to make people earn what they’re go­ing to get. We de­served to get some­thing. Our work rate was bril­liant, char­ac­ter fan­tas­tic, but de­fen­sively we were poor.

“It’s frus­trat­ing; we knew we were play­ing a good team, who cre­ate lots of chances and are in good form. As much as they’re a good team, they got some easy goals be­cause of some poor de­fend­ing by us.”

GOAL RUSH: Ade­bayo Ak­in­fenwa scores for Gilling­ham. Right: Tom Hitch­cock scores Rother­ham’s sec­ond goal

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