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16:53 23rd January 2010

Rene Howe debuts for the Gills against Colchester


Gills climb two places to 18th after earning a point from a nervy goalless draw with Colchester at krbs Priestfield.

Loan signings Rene Howe, Tristan Plummer and Darren Dennehy all made their debuts as Mark Stimson shuffled his pack, while Jack Payne and Andy Barcham were restored to the starting XI.

The Gills made an encouraging start and were unfortunate not to go a goal up just four minutes into the match. Wynter's ball over the top found Jackson in the box but he lifted his finish wide of the far post, it would prove to be Gillingham's best chance of the half.

Colchester quickly settled into the match and twice brought saves from Julian. First Odejayi forced the Gils custodian to clear with his feet after a scramble in the home defence, then Wordsworth headed direct at the keeper from close range.

The opening 45 minutes quickly descended into a distinctly cagey and instantly forgettable affair with the U's using their physical advantage to good effect, though neither side could produce a chance of note for the rest of the half.

HT 0-0

A speculative effort from Wordsworth caused consternation soon after kick-off as Julian scrambled to push his 30 yard volley around the post but the resulting corner was easily cleared.

On the hour Rene Howe's deep ball found Barcham wide on the left, his cross evaded Plummer and Jackson was caught wrong-footed with the goal at his mercy.

Soon after Howe sent Jackson through on goal with a neat ball over the top of defence, he laid off for Rooney to shoot from the right edge of goal but keeper Williams reacted well to deny his effort and a close range follow-up from Howe.

A brace of attacking substitutions seemed to cancel out the Gills threat while Alan Julian came to his side's rescue clawing out a Kevin Lisbie's header from under the cross bar in the 85th minute as the match ended all square

Attendance: 4948 (310 Colchester)

Gillingham: Alan Julian, Barry Fuller, Josh Gowling, Darren Dennehy, Tom Wynter, Tristan Plummer (Luke Rooney 62), Mark Bentley, Jack Payne, Andy Barcham (Rashid Yussuff 83), Rene Howe, Simeon Jackson.

Subs not used: Simon Royce, John Nutter, Adam Miller, Dennis Oli, Stuart Lewis

Colchester United: Ben Williams, Magnus Okuonghae, Paul Reid, Marc Tierney, Christian Ribeiro, Kem Izzet, John-Joe O'Toole, Phil Ifil, Anthony Wordsworth, Clive Platt (Kevin Lisbie 74), Kayode Odejayi (Steven Gillespie 67).

Subs not used: Mark Cousins, David Fox, Danny Batth, John White, Medy Elito.


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