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14:25 12th September 2009

Andy Barcham takes on the Millwall defence


Gillingham's largest league attendance of the season witnessed a dominant display as Mark Stimson's men cruised to victory over Millwall.

The only change to the line-up that overcame Exeter at home last week saw Kevin Maher replace the injured Mark McCammon with Curtis Weston pushing into an attacking role to support Simeon Jackson.

After a bright opening the Gills took the lead in spectacular fashion in the sixth minute as Andy Barcham collected Curtis Weston's neat lay off and made space before blasting a rising drive into the top left corner from 20 yards.

Five minutes later Simeon Jackson ran on to Oli's flick on and lashed in a shot from wide on the right that flew into the Town End.

At the other end the Lions were unlucky as Neil Harris stretched to loop Adam Bolder's through ball over the crossbar before Weston flashed wide of the Millwall goal with low effort from distance.

In a pulsating first 45 the visitors gave the Gills defence another scare on 20 minutes as debutant James Henry got the better of Bentley and launched a thunderbolt that fizzed inches over Royce's cross bar.

Four minutes later Simeon Jackson blasted into the far corner after good work down the left by Chris Palmer but celebrations were short-lived as his effort was ruled offside.

Shortly before the half hour mark Jackson sprung the offside trap, raced down the left and cut into the box before powering a low strike into the side-netting.

In the 36th minute Kevin Maher played in Jackson on the right of goal but under pressure from George Friend he pulled his shot wide of the far post.

Maher was the supplier again for Gillingham's second in the 40th minute, Curtis Weston collected his pass, turned his man and rifled a low shot beyond Forde and into the bottom right corner.

Moments later Steve Morison bore down on goal and crashed in a drive from the right which Simon Royce reacted superbly to block.

A minute from half time the Gills worked a quick break away with Weston and Jackson combining for Maher to curl a sweet pass through for Danny Jackman but the diminutive midfielder drove his shot straight at Forde.

HT 2-0

Millwall made a double substitution at half time in bid to tighten the midfield with Chris Hackett and Ali Fuseini coming on for Bolder and Schofield.

However the home side continued to run proceedings and were unlucky not to claim a third in the 50th minute. Weston crossed from the right of the area to a waiting Simeon Jackson but the Gills leading scorer couldn't find the finish his delivery deserved.

On the hour Josh Gowling's defensive header carried to Weston who pulled back for Oli to try his luck but with the goal at his mercy Dennis blazed over the bar with a fierce volley.

Two minutes later Jackson did well in the box to hold off his marker and found Weston with a cute back heel but the former Lions midfielder saw his shot deflected for a corner. Palmer's inswinger to the back post found Weston whose initial effort was blocked and Jackson ballooned the loose ball over the bar.

To add to the visitor's woe Millwall were reduced to ten men with 20 minutes to go after James Henry limped off with what looked like a calf injury.

In the 78th minute sub Luke Rooney sent Weston away down the right wing, he found Jackson in the box but the off balance striker could not find the finish and the Lions were able to scramble the loose ball to safety.

Three minutes later Simon Royce made his first real save of the match to deny Nadjim Abdou's header, gathering low at his left hand post.

Abdou found himself in the box again two minutes from time and looked odds on to nick a consolation goal only for Josh Gowling to throw himself in and head away the danger.

Attendance: 8097 (1933)

Gillingham: Simon Royce, Barry Fuller, Josh Gowling, Mark Bentley, Chris Palmer, Dennis Oli (75 Luke Rooney), Kevin Maher, Curtis Weston (81 Adam Miller), Danny Jackman (90 John Nutter), Andy Barcham, Simeon Jackson.

Subs not used: Garry Richards, Jacob Erskine, Alan Julian, Jack Payne

Millwall: David Forde, Andy Frampton, Adam Bolder (46 Chris Hackett), Danny Schofield (46 Ali Fuseini), Neil Harris (65 David Martin), James Henry, Darren Ward, Steve Morison, Jack Smith, Nadjim Abdou, George Friend.

Subs not used: John Sullivan, Alan Dunne, Scott Barron, John Marquis.


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