sport

Evans thrilled by Hitchcock

Rotherham manager Steve Evans admitted he surprised even himself after Tom Hitchcock's hat-trick earned a 4-3 win at Gillingham.

Evans' side twice trailed at the Priestfield Stadium but it was the introduction of QPR loanee Hitchcock that proved decisive.

Kieran Agard had put the visitors in front early on before goals from Adebayo Akinfewa and Myles Weston turned the match on its head.

It took only eight minutes after his introduction for Hitchcock to level it up again but despite Bradley Dack putting the Gills back in front the 21-year-old was not done.

The forward slid in his second goal before winning the game in injury time with a curling lob to leave Evans purring.

"My substitutions are normally awful but that's the substitution of all time that one," he said.

"He looked particularly bright in the reserves on Monday and there was a thought to start him today, 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.

"I don't think we can (get automatic promotion). We've got in the play-offs and a lot of managers will be disappointed at their judgement at the start of the season; they made some rubbish predictions because they said we'd fight to stay up.

"Did we deserve to win Yes. By a country mile? Yes, we did.

"We made a couple of defensive errors - Kari Arnason cost us a couple of goals, let's not lie about it. But we're always going to try and win here and if that means putting strikers on at 90-plus minutes then that's what we'll do."