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22:51 6th March 2012

Danny Kedwell Barnet 640


Gillingham came from behind to secure their fourth straight league victory after defeating Barnet 3-1 at MEMS Priestfield on Tuesday evening.

Dennis Oli, Jordan Obita and Charlie Lee grabbed the goals in the second half to cancel out Clovis Kamdjo's effort before the interval.

The recent run of good form has put the Gills within touching distance of a play-off place, but they remain eighth in the league table - their victory coming at a cost though as Garry Richards was stretchered off with a suspected broken ankle inside the opening quarter of an hour.

Andy Hessenthaler made four changes to the team that Plymouth on Saturday - all of which forced upon him. Joe Martin (suspended), Simon King (ill), Jo Kuffour (injured) and Gavin Tomlin (injured) all missing out.

Ashley Miller, Danny Kedwell, Connor Essam and Jordan Obita came in as their replacements. Barnet made just one change - Sead Hajrovic coming in for the banned Paul Downing.

Two minutes in and the Gills could have taken a decisive early lead. Charlie Lee going on one of his now customary surging long runs and unleashed a shot from the edge of the box.

Unfortunately for him the ball went wide of the post, and a second effort a few minutes later was also off target. Sam Deering had Barnet's first strike on goal, but Paulo Gazzaniga was untroubled to say the least.

On 14 minutes Hessenthaler was forced into another change due to injury. Richards clutched his left shin after going down just outside his own penalty area - he had to be stretchered off and was replaced by Callum Davies.

The centre-back was later reported to have suffered a broken ankle, which could keep him out for the rest of the season following an Izale McLoed challenge.

Four minutes after his departure and the home side came closest yet to open the scoring.

Charlie Lee's free kick was tipped around the post by Liam O'Brien, and the keeper was on hand from the resulting corner to tip over a great header by Chris Whelpdale.

The Barnet stopper reacted brilliantly to get his right glove to the ball when it seemed destined for the back of the net.

A Jordan Mustoe free kick for the visitors was followed by a near penalty as Miller pounced on a loose ball just inside the box and went down following minor contact but the referee waved play on as the striker returned to his feet.

The visitors had a goal disallowed on the half-hour mark - Deering's strike was palmed out by Gazzaniga, and McLoed was on hand to convert home, but to the relief of the home fans he was given offside by the linesman.

Miller was proving to be a real handful for the Barnet centre halves as he chased after every loose ball, and his efforts didn't go unnoticed either with the Gills supporters applauding him on regular intervals.

On 38 minutes McLoed nearly registered his eighth goal in four matches against Gillingham.

His weaving run eventually brought him inside the box, he took a heavy touch but was still able to get a left-foot shot away - however it was deflected and hit the side netting resulting in a corner kick.

But from the set piece Barnet took the lead. The ball bypassed everybody and made its way to the opposing flank - a cross was put in low to the near post and Kamdjo got his foot to it to beat Gazzaniga.

The goal came against the run of play, and the Gills would have to come from behind again at home to clinch all three points.

Essam nearly restored parity right away, but his header from a Jackman free kick caressed O'Brien's left hand post to give Barnet the advantage at the interval.

H/T: 0-1

Kedwell was replaced at half time by Oli, and the sub equalised for the Gills within 60 seconds of the restart.

From just inside the 18-yard box he struck across O'Brien, and the keeper had no chance of keeping it out.

In the 54th minute Barnet could have regained the lead. Mark Byrne with a fantastic strike from nearly 25 yards, he caught it well but didn't beat Gazzaniga as it nestled the top of the net and out for a goal kick.

The game became a midfield battle as both sides fought for possession - the Gills introducing Danny Spiller on 64 minutes to mark his return from a near six-month lay-off.

Ten minutes after his introduction the home side nearly took the lead. A neat flick on by Oli played in Miller just inside the box, and although his right foot shot was on target O'Brien was quick off his line to block the effort.

But just a minute or so later Gillingham did go 2-1 up. Oli was played in down the left hand side, he waited patiently for support and eventually found it in the shape of Miller.

The striker had a shot which was well saved, and the ball fell nicely for Obita who scored his first for the club from close range.

Oli, who hasn't featured for the club since mid-January, played a big part in the goal and picked his pass beautifully as he waited for Miller to join him in the penalty area.

Five minutes from the end substitute Andy Yiadom attempted to work his magic on the left wing.

He cut inside two players and shot from the edge of the box. Gazzaniga saw it all the way though and held well with both hands to deny an equalizer.

That save proved vital as moments later the Gills secured victory. Oli broke free down the middle, he surged into the box but then got the ball caught between his legs.

Jackman picked up the pieces and played in a delicate pass to Charlie Lee on the right-hand side of the box.

He chested down, casually stepped inside the full back and finished well beyond O'Brien who was beaten for a third time.

It was his third goal in three games and ensured Gillingham picked up their fourth win in as many games.

Oli nearly got his second in the last minute but his header was caught by the Barnet keeper as Gazzaniga made two comfortable saves at the other end just moments later.

F/T: 3-1

Gills: Gazzaniga, C Lee, Richards (Davies 17), Essam, Jackman, Whelpdale, Montrose, O Lee (Spiller 64), Obita, Miller, Kedwell (Oli 45).

Unusued subs: Hawkes, Brown.

Barnet: O'Brien, Harjovic, Hector, Kamdjo, Mustoe, Byrne, Deering (Yiadom 83), Hughes, Holmes, McLeod (Taylor 45), McGleish.

Subs: Brill, N'Diaye, Parkes.

Attendance: 3,751 (84 Barnet)

Goals: Kamdjo (39), (Oli 46), Obita (75), C Lee (86).

Bookings: Essam (42), C Lee (63)

Referee: Mr C Berry


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