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16:56 17th September 2011

Nouble 640


A terrific performance saw the Gills hammer six past a struggling Hereford United side on an afternoon of sunshine and showers at Edgar Street.

From front-to-back the players worked their socks off to shock their hosts and to be fair the winning margin could have been greater with numerous other on-target chances created.

There were six different goalscorers, four great goals and to be fair a couple of flukes and even though Danny Kedwell didn't get on the scoresheet he and new signing Frank Nouble probably caused every United defender nightmares on Saturday night with their attacking display.

Gillingham, resplendent in all blue,made two injury enforced changes with Matt Lawrence (concussion) and Danny Spiller (ankle) missing but skipper Andy Frampton was fit to return while aforementioned new loan signing from West Ham United Nouble also came in to the starting line-up. The additional striker allowing a 4-4-2 formation.

Hereford may be 23rd in the League Two table but they began in a lively fashion and you have to wonder what would have happened had they scored early on.

Despite looking up for it they only created one real chance which came inside the opening minute when Joe Heath's left-wing cross was headed at Ross Flitney by Sam Winnall.

Gradually the Gills started to get hold of the ball and got their passing game going and Luke Rooney cracked a low shot just wide with five minutes on the clock.

Referee Paul Tierney, who booked eight and sent one member of each management team to the stands when the sides met at Priestfield last season, was quick to brandish a yellow card for a Barry Fuller challenge on Yoann Arquin in the 12th minute.

On 19 minutes the Gills opened the scoring with a quality finish from Nouble. A neat build up ended with Chris Whelpdale dinking the ball through for the England Youth international to chest down and sidestep his marker before slotting the ball wide of the advancing Dave Cornell.

Five minutes later the lead was doubled, Danny Jackman crossed from just inside the Bulls half and Garry Richards (above), still forward from a Charlie Lee long throw moments before, guided a brilliant looping header over the keeper and into the back of the net from near the edge of the area.

Rob Purdie became the first home player to be cautioned in the 33rd minute for a foul on the marauding Rooney.

Shortly afterwards Hereford went close to pulling one back when Flitney's punch dropped to former Gills trialist Harry Pell around 25 yards out but his instantaneous lob fell inches the wrong side of the keepers left-hand post.

Keeper Cornell, on loan from Swansea City, suffered a horror moment in the 38th minute when his attempted clearance struck Nouble but the luck was on his side as the ball ricocheted back to him.

Two minutes later the Gills went three-up but this time United had no luck, a Nouble attempt flew across goal and found the excellent Rooney, quick-feet and a jink later the youngster saw his driven cross-cum-shot smacking into the body of Heath around three yards out and bouncing past the stranded Cornell into his own net.

H/T: 0 - 3

The Gills had two great chances to increase their lead in the opening stages of the second-half before Jackman did net number four in the 48th minute.

A low Rooney cross took a couple of deflections before Cornell was able to help the ball round at his near post.

Rooney took the corner and Danny Kedwell, who was working tirelessly alongside the lively Nouble, saw his goal-bound header turned round the post by the keeper.

It was from the resultant corner that the Gills did net. Another Rooney flag-kick was half-cleared to Jackman quite wide on the left and he curled a great right-footed effort beyond Cornell into the top corner.

Bulls boss Jamie Pitman made a change shortly afterwards introducing ex-Gill Delroy Facey for Arquin.

The Gills had Charlie Lee booked in the 61st minute for a foul on Heath and it started a crazy few minutes for Hereford.

From the resultant free-kick Winnall saw the ball deflect just wide off the jumping wall but from the corner the referee awarded a penalty to the home side as Frampton was adjudged to have held Pell with the Gills skipper picking up a booking.

There was an argument between Pell and Purdie as to who was going to take the spot-kick with the latter finally taking command but his penalty crashed against Flitney's bar.

Moments later Winnall saw another strike pushed aside low to his right by Flitney.

The Gills weathered the storm and got back to controlling the game before adding two more goals which came after two substitutions were made in quick succession as first Lewis Montrose then Stefan Payne were introduced for Jackman and Nouble.

A 77th minute tackle on Rooney by Will Evans in the area looked a cert penalty to most people in the ground except the referee who then surprised most people by awarding a foul at the other end for a less innocuous foul by Montrose on Pell.

A fifth goal arrived in the 79th minute when Whelpdale (above) took a pass from Frampton and saw his relatively weak looking side-footed attempt from around 20-odd yards bobble over the diving Cornell and into the net.

Dennis Oli replaced Kedwell three minutes before the Gills amazingly struck again. Stefan Payne controlled Oli's ball forward, cut inside and fired a great effort beyond the keeper and into the corner of the net from 20 yards. It was his first goal in senior football and he celebrated accordingly with the 255 ecstatic travelling supporters.

A neat free-kick routine involving Joe Martin and Rooney saw the latter force Cornell into a terrific one-handed save before Hereford finally got on the scoresheet. That came in the 87th minute when on-loan Wolves striker Winnall wrong-footed Flitney as he curled home a free-kick.

Attendance: 1,848 (255 Gillingham)

United: Cornell, Green, Heath, Pell, Purdie, Featherstone, Arquin (Facey 51), Clist, Barkhuizen, Winnall, Evans Unused subs: Lunt, McQuilkin, Rose, Hoult

Gills: Flitney, Fuller, Richards, Frampton, Martin, Whelpdale, Lee, Jackman (Montrose 71), Rooney, Kedwell (Oli 80), Nouble (S Payne 75) Unused subs: Essam, Gazzaniga

Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistants: Ian Rathbone and Lee Swabey
Fourth Official: Andrew Rodda


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