Hitchcock thriller has put Millers on course

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ROTHERHAM can set their sights on securing automatic promotion after guaranteeing themselves at least a play-off place.

Substitute Tom Hitchcock scored a second-half hat-trick as the Millers twice came from behind to move to within six points of second-placed Brentford.

The youngster earned fulsome praise from manager Steve Evans, who said: “Young Tom got himself a hat-trick but believe me the quality of his finishing does not surprise me one little bit.

“I took the strikers for a finishing session on Friday and he never missed, I knew then he would play a part at Gillingham and what a part he played.

“Tom has gone home with the match ball and with a big smile. His mum was in the crowd and I know what she means to him. I have to say whilst his finishing was superb he got great service from a team who will just never give up”

Kieran Agard put the Millers ahead but Adebayo Akinfenwa levelled and Myles Weston put the Gills in front.

Loanee Hitchcock then struck for the Millers but Bradley Dack’s late goal looked to have won it for the hosts.

Hitchcock, however, equalised a minute later and completed his hat-trick in stoppage-time with a curling lob.

Rotherham are now unbeaten in 16 games and Evans said ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Sheffield United: “There was much to be pleased about, some things we were not happy with.”

Gillingham: Nelson, Harriman, Inniss,Barrett, Martin, Hewitt, Dack, Gregory (German 90), Weston (Lee 71), Akinfenwa (Linganzi 78), McDonald. Unused substitutes: Birchall, Smith, Hessenthaler, Baxter.

Rotherham United: Collin, Tavernier, Arnason, Morgan, Skarz, Adams (Hitchcock 61), Frecklington (Milsom 81), Smallwood (O’Connor 90), Pringle, Revell, Agard. Unused substitutes: Shearer, Davis, Thomas, Vuckic.

Referee: S Rushton (Staffordshire).

Man of the match: Tom Hitchcock.