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21:42 9th February 2010

Curtis Weston tries his luck from distance


Gillingham's terrible run of form continues with defeat to Tranmere on a wretched night at krbs Priestfield,

Mark Stimson made four changes to his starting line-up after the weekend's defeat at Griffin Park. Palmer, Jackman, Rooney and Weston coming in to replace Wynter, Maher, Payne and Walker, who all drop to the bench.

With both sides at the wrong end of the table, the game got off to a nervy start, Curtis Weston opening up the Rovers defence with a surging run that ultimately proved fruitless, while the visitors best chance was a 25 yard punt from Ian Thomas-Moore.

Craig Curran found himself in the book after a reckless challenge on Barry Fuller in the 17th minute, the Gills captain received lengthy treatment but was able to return to action.

Gillingham's first clear opening came on the 23rd minute, Barcham controlling Palmer's throw before crossing for Luke Rooney to land a looping header on the roof of the net.

Soon after, Andy Barcham gave himself room to shoot with a neat turn and tested Luke Daniels with a stinging drive from 25-yards.

On 33 minutes Chris Palmer went closer still with a well-struck shot on the turn that Daniels could only parry, fortunately for Tranmere the ball ricocheted clear of the lurking Mark Bentley.

HT 0-0

Four minutes after the restart Jackman sent Barcham clear down the left, the winger cut inside and crossed low for Rooney who rattled the crossbar with a rising drive, Weston could only head the rebound into Daniels arms.

A 53rd minute cross from Chris Palmer was headed over the bar by Jackson, while John Welsh's volley fizzed wide at the other end as the play switched from end to end.

Gareth Edds 57th minute shot was well smothered by Alan Julian, before Mark Bentley drilled a curling effort into the Rainham End as both sides remained deadlocked.

Julian did even better to punch clear Edds pin point header after the Tranmere midfielder climbed highest to meet a deep cross from the left.

Tranmere finally took the lead in the 67th minute, Alan Julian twice making saves in a goal-mouth scramble before Ian Thomas-Moore emerged to stab in the lose ball.

Gillingham should have levelled the scores in the 73rd minute as Jackman teed up Palmer to shoot from the left edge of goal but the full-back somehow dragged his finish wide of the far post.

The late arrivals of Adam Miller and James Walker made little difference as the Gills continued to struggle up front, Oli missing their only other chance of note inside the 90 minutes, after skying his far post shot.

In time added on Josh Gowling hit a carbon copy effort high over the bar after good hold up play by Walker as the Gills poor finishing cost them dearly.

Attendance: 3840 (104 visitors)

Gillingham: Alan Julian, Barry Fuller, Josh Gowling, Darren Dennehy, Chris Palmer, Luke Rooney (Dennis Oli 68), Mark Bentley (Adam Miller 70), Danny Jackman, Andy Barcham, Curtis Weston (James Walker 82), Simeon Jackson.

Subs not used: Simon Royce, Kevin Maher, Tom Wynter, Jack Payne.

Tranmere Rovers: Luke Daniels, Shaleum Logan, Paul McLaren, Ian Thomas-Moore, John Welsh, Ash Taylor (Gareth Edds 24), Marlon Broomes, Zoumana Bakayogo, Craig Curran, Chris McCready, Marvin Sordell (Terry Gornell 77).

Subs not used: Joe Collister, Charlie Barnett, Alan Mahon, Aaron Cresswell, Chris Shuker.


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