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17:04 21st January 2012

Charlie Lee 640 AFC


Gillingham somehow contrived to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as AFC Wimbledon hit back from 3-1 down to win at MEMS Priestfield Stadium and complete a season's 'double'.

Andy Hessenthaler's side certainly didn't help themselves as they conceded two own goals and a penalty after Gavin Tomlin had marked his home debut with a brace of goals.

The Gills boss had made four changes to the team that had lost at Shrewsbury Town last weekend with Danny Kedwell, Jo Kuffour, Joe Martin and Gavin Tomlin coming into the side.

Although the loss of Andy Frampton was forced upon him after the skipper picked up a hamstring injury in training on Thursday the other changes saw Dennis Oli, Curtis Weston and Chris Whelpdale all drop to the substitutes bench.

Having been caught out by AFC Wimbledon's quick start up at Kingsmeadow back in early October the Gills looked to go on the offensive straight away and the first chance of the game came just as the clock ticked into the third minute when a Danny Jackman right-wing corner fell invitingly at the back post for Charlie Lee but his angled shot failed to hit the target.

However in the fifth minute the Gills were ahead, a Jackman reverse pass found Tomlin, on his home debut, who slipped past his marker before drilling his shot goalwards which Wombles keeper Seb Brown will be disappointed somehow squeezed past him.

Then after Byron Harrison opening had been quickly snuffed out the action quickly returned to the other end. Another Jackman corner was long but neat interplay between Lewis Montrose and Garry Richards saw the latter fire a great crossfield ball back to Jackman who saw his low first-timer snatched by the diving Brown as Kuffour lunged in behind him.

The Gills had a let off in the 15th minute when an inswinging corner from Samuel Hatton struck the near post with keeper Ross Flitney struggling.

I'm not sure why but after taking the lead the Gills lost the ascendancy but although the visitors began playing at a quicker tempo, they had plenty of guile and imagination in their build-up play they thankfully, at that stage, had no end product.

For the Gills, Lee fired a weak long-range effort at Brown while in another attack Kuffour had a shot on the turn blocked and when the ball fell to Kedwell his attempt was blocked too.

Six minutes from the break another Jackman corner, this time from the left, again found Lee at the far post but his towering header flew wide.

H/T: 0 - 0

The first booking of the game came in the 50th minute when Jack Midson stupidly kicked the ball away.

In the 53rd minute the Gills went two ahead, Tomlin played Kuffour through on goal and as Brown looked to narrow the angle, the Gills striker kept his cool and slotted the ball wide of the advancing keeper to mark his return to the Gills in style.

With an hour gone Terry Brown's side pulled on back, a George Moncur pass found Luke Moore in acres of space and he ran on to slot the ball under Flitney.

Moments later Midson should have done better with a close range effort and he was made to pay in the 63rd minute as the Gills restored their two goal lead. Kuffour crossed from the right and Tomlin moved ahead of his marker to head home from six yards.

Both teams made substitutions in the 70th minute, Kuffour was replaced by Weston and Yussuff went on for Luke Moore.

Two minutes later and the Dons reduced the arrears, when a short corner was taken and the driven cross seemed to deflect in off a Gillingham player, either Garry Richards or Jack Payne, at the near post leaving Flitney no chance.

In the 79th minute a ball forward saw Midson and Lawrence tussling for the ball and the Dons player looked to be tugged back in area. Assistant referee Michael Bull flagged and referee Brendan Malone pointed to the spot.

AFC's leading goalscorer Midson stepped up and fired home the spot-kick high to Flitney's right to send the 1,163 travelling fans delirious.

Both Whelpdale and Oli were introduced in the closing stages with Jackman and man of the match Tomlin making way.

Things got worse in the 88th minute as AFC Wimbledon completed an amazing comeback to go 4-3 ahead when once again they got free down the right and a fired cross was smashed into the roof of his own net by the unlucky Joe Martin.

The result saw the Gills drop out of the play-off places into eighth but they do have a game in hand on Oxford United.

* The match was preceded by a minutes applause for comedian Dave Lee, the larger than life character and former non-executive director of the Gills who had sadly passed away earlier in the week.

Attendance: 6,236 (1,163 Dons supporters)

Flitney, Lee, Richards, Lawrence, Martin, Tomlin (Oli 84), J Payne, Montrose, Jackman (Whelpdale 80), Kedwell, Kuffour (Weston 70).

Subs: King,Gazzaniga.

AFC Wimbledon:Brown, Hatton, Gwillim, S Moore, Mitchel-King, McNaughton, Knott (Kiernan 84), Moncur, Midson, Harrison (Stuart 90), L Moore (Yussuff 70)

Subs: Bush, Turner,


: Brendan Malone

Asst Referees: Michael Bull & Barry Holderness

Fourth Official: Carl Brook


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