JUSTIN RAGING AS GILLS CHOKE
GILLINGHAM manager Justin Edinburgh blasted referee Nigel Miller as his 50th game in charge ended in a draw at Doncaster Rovers.
Two goals from Rory Donnelly put the Gills in control of the game, before Rovers struck back through a disputed Cameron Stewart free-kick, awarded after defender Max Ehmer was adjudged to have fouled Andy Williams.
Striker Williams equalised late on and should have won the game eight minutes into stoppage time, as the visitors let a two-goal lead slip for the second straight game.
“People will look at us for losing a two-goal lead but like last week against Wigan, decisions have cost us,” said Edinburgh.
“The person refereeing the game has allowed them back into it. It was never a free-kick that they score from and it gave them a lift.
“We’re suffering from poor decisions right now.Yes, we’ve got to do better, we’ll get that experience from these situations as you can’t teach people how to see games out in training.
“But we were absolutely superb for long periods – it’s hard to take.”
Donnelly opened the scoring for the Gills on nine minutes with his third in as many games, as Ryan Jackson’s deep cross reached the unmarked Irish striker, who brilliantly volleyed past Thorsten Stuckmann.
The Gills’ high-pressing stifled Rovers’ play and almost led to a second before half time. Bradley Dack started an incisive break from midfield then surged into the box to meet Bradley Garmston’s cross, but his header hit the bar.
However, the visitors didn’t have long to wait to double their lead; Donnelly coolly slotted past Stuckmann two minutes after the break following Dack’s defencesplitting through ball.
Rovers failed to create any clear-cut opportunities before the game’s key turning point.Without a man on the post, Stewart’s curling 75th-minute free-kick easily beat Gills goalkeeper Stuart Nelson.
The game – which at one point was going to kick-off 30 minutes late because of a power cut, before eventually starting at 3pm – was delayed by several minutes following a nasty injury to Stewart who appeared to land on his head after an innocuous tangle with Jermaine McGlashan.
However his side kept their nerve and Williams slotted home an 88th-minute equaliser after getting the better of Ehmer, before somehow shooting over the bar with an easier chance deep into time added on.
“You need quality to get back in the game and Cameron scored a great goal,” said Rovers boss Darren Ferguson.
“At 2-1, I thought we’d go on and win it. It’s a disappointing result. I don’t know how we’ve not won the game.
“We haven’t won three on the bounce in the league this season. That was the challenge today and unfortunately we cannot slip up too much if we want to be successful this season. “If we want to get in the play-offs, we’re going to have to be the best team in the league for 20 games.”