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14:24 8th August 2009

Jackson Swindon 640


Gillingham top the table on the opening day after a 5-0 hammering of Swindon Town at KRBS Priestfield.

With his side decimated by injury Mark Stimson handed the central midfield holding role to highly rated 17 year-old Jack Payne, while Mark Bentley got the nod over Chris Palmer on the right side of midfield.

The visitors were the first side to threaten from a sixth minute corner, Anthony McNamee curled a neat ball to the near post and Lescinel Jean-Francois climbed highest to head wide of Julians top left corner.

Five minutes later the Gills took the lead in simple fashion, John Nutter's deep pass sent Jackson away on the right of goal. He drew the keeper before cutting back for Mark Bentley to sweep the first goal of the season into an empty net.

Seconds later Nutter turned provider again swinging over a free kick from the right to the far post but Garry Richards was unable to apply the finish.

On 20 minutes the Gills survived a scare as shots from Jonathan Douglas and Alan O'Brien were blocked in quick succession. From the resulting corner Amankwaah thought he had scored for the Robins with a header to the near post but Alan Julian reacted brilliantly to push it away to safety.

Swindon were enjoying a good spell of pressure and tested the Gills again five minutes later when McNamee made space to send in a wicked cross, Garry Richards made the crucial intervention clearing the danger at full stretch to deny the lurking Paynter.

At the other end a long through ball sent Jackson away and his low drive from the right hand corner of the box fizzed past Lucas' left hand upright.

In the 38th minute McNamee fired in another teasing cross for the visitors, the delivery deserved a good finish but Paynter was only able to head over the bar.

Two minutes before the interval Jackson made space again on the edge of the Swindon area and let fly from distance, his effort was struck at a nice height for Lucas who held it comfortably.

HT 1-0

Four minutes after the re-start Swindon were on the attack again, Amankwaah played in McNamee whose low strike from the outside of the box drifted narrowly wide of Julian's far post.

A minute later Simeon Jackson blasted the Gills into a two goal lead, the Canadian striker raced onto Nutter's through pass and buried a wonder strike into the back of the net.

Brilliant sunshine seemed to take much of the bite out of the second half proceedings as both sides showed plenty of battle but created few chances in front of goal.

Then in the 72nd minute Gillingham made it 3-0 with John Nutter loading the bullets once again after Jean-Francois had felled Weston 30 yards from goal. Nutter lofted a deep ball to the back post and found Adam Miller who headed home unchallenged.

Five minutes from time Simeon Jackson added a fourth with an utterly sublime finish, played in by Andy Barcham he nutmegged a Swindon defender before powering a shot into the roof of the net.

Within seconds of the restart Swindon's misery deepened as Jackson claimed an opening day hat-trick. Mark Bentley headed into the area and the visitors defence went missing leaving Jacko with a simple finish for his first Gillingham hat-trick.

Attendance: 6852 (visitors 788)

Gillingham: Alan Julian, Barry Fuller, Garry Richards, Josh Gowling, John Nutter, Mark Bentley (90 Jacob Erskine), Adam Miller, Jack Payne (87 Rashid Yussuff), Curtis Weston, Andy Barcham, Simeon Jackson (90 Mark McCammon)

Subs not used: Simon Royce, Chris Palmer, Tom Wynter, Luke Rooney

Swindon Town: David Lucas, Scott Cuthbert (55 Lloyd Macklin), Jonathan Douglas, Gordon Greer, Michael Timlin, Anthony McNamee, Sean Morrison, Kevin Amankwaah, Alan O'Brien (65 Mark Marshall), Lescinel Jean-Francois, Billy Paynter

Subs not used: Jerel Ifil, Jon-Paul McGovern, Craig Easton, Phil Smith, Callum Kennedy.


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.