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16:56 26th September 2009

Fraser Forster brings down Curtis Weston


A frustrating afternoon saw the Gills punished for failing to kill off Norwich City's ten men at krbs Priestfield...

Gillingham came out of the blocks strongly and gave their visitors an early scare as Chris Palmer's fifth minute cross found Andy Barcham on the edge of the box but his header drifted wide of Forster's left hand upright.

Norwich responded quickly with Lappin playing Luke Daley in on the left of the Gills area, he cut into the box and curled a low effort narrowly wide, suggesting the home side were in for a challenging encounter.

The Canaries threatened again in the 16th minute as Wes Hoolahan weaved a path into the box from the right flank, it took a great save from Simon Royce to prevent his low drive finding the net.

As the half unfolded the game developed into an even and very keenly contested match, with both sides cancelling out each others attacking threat and few chances at either end.

Barry Fuller and Wes Hoolahan were guilty of competing a little too wholeheartedly and both saw the yellow card before 30 minutes had elapsed. Fuller, for pushing over the diminutive City midfielder and Hoolahan for kicking away the ball at a Gills free kick.

Then came the moment that would change the match, Curtis Weston raced through on goal, appeared to be brought down by Forster and the Canaries custodian was shown a straight red card. Simeon Jackson beat sub keeper Declan Rudd with a clinic finish into the bottom left corner to claim his ninth of the season.

Three minutes from the interval, Chris Palmer tested the new boy with a rasping effort from 25 yards that Rudd watched sail over his crossbar. Then Jackson went close again with a close range header from Fuller's cross that was just too high for the in form striker to find a finish.

City were very unfortunate not to equalise in added on time at the end of the first half. Hughes right wing free-kick found Spillane at the near post but his glancing header was inches over the bar.

HT 1-0

Gillingham set out to press home their man advantage after the restart and were denied in the 49th minute as Josh Gowling headed Palmer's right wing corner goalwards only to see it hacked to safety off the line.

Soon after Barcham found room on the left to cross for Dennis Oli but his looping header from the edge of the box sailed over the bar.

In the 58th minute Weston and Palmer combined down the left, the full back turned his marker inside out and was unlucky to see his wicked drive beaten away at the near post.

Norwich continued to soak up the Gills pressure and it was 71 minutes before the Gills created another decent opening. Sub John Nutter won the ball deep in the Canaries half and sent Jackson one one one with Keeper Rudd who stood tall and denied the Gills leading scorer a certain goal.

At the other end Simon Royce was forced to take evasive action to deny a lurking Gary Holt in a rare second half chance for the visitors.

On 75 minutes Weston's through ball allowed Jackson a snap shot at goal but he dragged his shot on the turn well wide. Seconds later Jackson had another chance from the right of goal and this time blistered the paint on the crossbar with a wicked lash.

Ten minutes from time a well worked move saw Fuller feed Jackman on the right, he crossed for Weston who brought another stunning stop from Declan Rudd.

Norwich kept up the pressure and three minutes into added time saw a Wes Hoolahan shot superbly blocked, from the resulting corner Berthel Askou's header struck the crossbar allowing Grant Holt to steal a precious point

Attendance: 7550 (visitors 1434)

Gillingham: Simon Royce, Barry Fuller Josh Gowling, Mark Bentley, Chris Palmer, Dennis Oli, Curtis Weston, Kevin Maher (66 Jack Payne), Danny Jackman, Andy Barcham (66 John Nutter), Simeon Jackson (80 Adam Miller).

Subs not used: Alan Julian, Tom Wynter, Luke Rooney, Jacob Erskine

Norwich City: Fraser Forster, Jon Otsemobor (40 Stephen Hughes), Adam Drury, Grant Holt, Wes Hoolahan, Michael Spillane, Simon Lappin, Darel Russell, Luke Daley (34 Declan Rudd), Korey Smith (68 Cody Mcdonald), Jens Berthel Askou.

Subs not used: Jamie Cureton, Chris Martin, Tom Adeyemi, Paul McVeigh.


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