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16:52 30th January 2010

Barry Fuller takes on the Saddlers defence


Gillingham maintain their unbeaten run but struggle to break down a committed Walsall side at krbs Priestfield.

Mark Stimson made one change to the team that gained a point at Hartlepool in midweek, Josh Gowling returned in defence after shaking off a groin injury, while Mark Bentley returned to his preferred role in right midfield.

The home side survived an almighty scare in the ninth minute of the half, as Alan Julian pulled off a stunning triple save to deny the visitors an early lead

Four minutes later Jack Payne produced the first home shot on target, controlling Tom Wynter's cleared cross before testing Clayton Ince from 22 yards.

Jackson was next to go close on 22 minutes, Rene Howe, feeding Barcham who set up Simeon but the Gills leading scorer, stretching to make contact, poked his finish wide.

Soon after Payne chanced him arm with a drop volley from just outside the box that was easily gathered by the Saddlers custodian.

On 36 minutes Payne was in the right place again to collect Howe's right wing cross but dragged his effort wide of the mark with only Ince to beat.

Three minutes before the interval Howe teed-up Simeon Jackson to race through on goal, but under pressure from Manny Smith, the striker shot straight into Ince's arms.

HT 0-0

Gillingham began the second half in lively fashion, Howe setting up Jackson in an almost identical move to that which paid dividends at Hartlepool on Tuesday, though Jackson could not find the target this time round.

Andy Barcham flashed a drive wide soon after before Howe missed a great chance to open his Gills account, sending Jackson's cross wide at the far post.

On 69 minutes Barcham's deft ball over the top allowed Jackson to race through on goal, but Clayton McDonald got back to make a crucial block in the box.

Seven minutes from time it seemed the deadlock had finally been broken as Barcham's persistent presented Bentley with a chance at the near post but Vincent somehow contrived to keep it out.

Walsall threatened in injury time but poor finishing meant the game ended, as at the Bescot Stadium in August, in a goal less draw.

Attendance: 4796 (Walsall 127)

Gillingham: Alan Julian, Barry Fuller, Josh Gowling, Darren Dennehy, Tom Wynter (Danny Jackman 76), Mark Bentley (Luke Rooney 87), Kevin Maher (Curtis Weston 67), Jack Payne, Andy Barcham, Rene Howe, Simeon Jackson.

Subs not used: Simon Royce, Adam Miller, Dennis Oli, Tristan Plummer

Walsall: Clayton Ince, Ryhs Weston, Manny Smith, Dwayne Mattis, Troy Deeney, Mark Bradley (Richard Taundry 68), Peter Till (Alex Nicholls 76), Jamie Vincent, Matt Richards, Darren Byfield, Clayton McDonald.

Subs not used: Netan Sansara, Sam Parkin, Josh O'Keefe, Darryl Westlake, Rene Gilmartin


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