Fights break out between Rotherham and Gillingham fans on last day of League One
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Fans of Gillingham and Rotherham United clashed on the pitch at Priestfield Stadium on Saturday afternoon after The Millers secured promotion to the Championship.
Tensions were high at Gillingham in the 12.30 pm kick-off as a defeat meant that they were relegated to League Two on goal difference. They were comfortably beaten 2-0 on the day, ending their nine-season long stay in the league.
With contrasting emotions between the two sets of supporters, things did boil over when both groups invaded the pitch once the full-time whistle sounded. And footage on Twitter did show some supporters fighting and needing stewards to keep them apart.
Rotherham opened the scoring in the 34th minute through Rarmani Edmonds-Green. The Millers then secured their promotion in the 89th minute through Georgie Kelly, scoring on his club debut. However, the fighting and ugly scenes at full time somewhat overshadowed what was a great campaign for the club.
Millers' boss Paul Warne spoke before the match about how securing automatic promotion with his side would be the biggest achievement of his career, whilst also hinting that his squad would be changed dramatically over the summer, especially considering they have failed to remain in the Championship in their last three attempts.
Warne said: “If we could get automatic promotion it would be the biggest achievement I have ever had, it would eclipse anything I have done. As good as we have been in recent years as a football club, we haven't had an automatic promotion out of this league since Ronnie Moore had the dream team 20-odd years ago (2001).
"I am emotionally involved with all of my players and staff. We are a really close group. I want them to have that moment in time, that moment in history, that will keep them connected forever.
"I am not saying that I don't want it for myself and my own family – of course I do – but I want it more for the players. I have been on the record about this many times, this team will change in the summer. It will be a goodbye for a few. I feel like automatic promotion would be a fitting end to an enjoyable but tough season.”
Rotherham’s promotion means that Warne has guided the club to the second tier of English football three times in five-and-a-half years in the dugout. It remains to be seen how they will cope in the Championship next season.
- Gillingham FC
- Rotherham United FC
- League One
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