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16:59 5th May 2012


Charlie Lee scored twice in Gillingham's final game of the league season as they comfortably beat Morecambe 2-0 at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.

He struck once in either half to give the home side all three points in a quiet affair with few chances at either end.

Both teams came in to the fixture with nothing to play for, but the Gills were determined to finish the season with all three points after failing to clinch a play-off place.

Manager Andy Hessenthaler made just one change to the team that drew at Northampton seven days ago - Jack Payne replacing Chris Whelpdale in midfield with the former Peterborough man suffering with a groin problem.

Alex Brown and Ross Flitney took seats on the subs bench with Dennis Oli and Curtis Weston making way.

Morecambe too made just the solitary change - Lewis Alessandra replacing Craig Curran in attack.

The Gills started the better of the two teams but it was the visitors who created the first chance.

Alessandra produced a decent cross from the right hand side and found Jordan Burrow unmarked at the back post, but with the ball slightly behind him he could only find the gloves of Paulo Gazzaniga.

In the 13th minute they should have taken the lead. Jack Redshaw played a fine ball across the face of the goal from the right wing - the Gills defence failed to clear and Burrow should have tapped in from close range.

However he was at full stretch and was unable to connect properly so Gazzaniga was grateful to see the ball go wide of his right post.

The miss would prove costly as the Gills took the lead in the 18th minute. Charlie Lee picked up the ball 30 yards from goal - he took a couple of touches and decided to try his luck on his weaker left foot.

He struck it well and Barry Roche couldn't get across in time to keep it out - the midfielder celebrating his fifth goal of the season as the ball nestled in the bottom corner.

This seemed to give the Gills a bit more confidence going forward - Matt Fish and Joe Martin supporting whenever they could from full back positions and Morecambe struggled to contain the hosts for long periods.

On the stroke of half time Joe Martin and Jo Kuffour both went close, but at the break just the one goal separated the sides.

H/T: 1-0

Andy Parrish had the first chance after the interval - his header just beating the crossbar before Lee tried to surprise the keeper again with his left foot, but his effort was mishit and Morecambe survived.

Redshaw was next to try his luck but his right foot shot went straight in to the advertising boards behind the goal - Danny Carlton followed up a few minutes later but he got underneath the ball a little too much and it sailed over the bar.

Morecambe were starting to create chances but were failing to convert. Niall Cowperthwaite - on for Will Haining in the first half- stung the gloves of Gazzaniga and the defence did well to clear a potential rebound.

On 73 minutes Burrow went close once again. A snap shot from the edge of the box seemed to deceive Gazzaniga as he scrambled across, but he needn't have worried as the ball brushed the post and out for a goal kick.

A few seconds later at the other end and it could have been all over. Rowan Vine - on for Jo Kuffour- played in Kedwell who had found a yard of space inside the box. He attempted to turn and shoot but he was off balance and his effort flew in to the Rainham End.

That proved irrelevant shortly afterwards as Lee bagged his second of the game. Danny Jackman burst forward and waited patiently for support.

Lee timed his run to perfection, got on the end of a fantastic through ball and slotted home.

Morecambe however should have pulled one back in the 79th minute.

With bodies flooding the Gills box following a corner, the ball found its way to Chris McCready who launched a shot towards goal - it beat Gazzaniga but didn't beat Payne who was stood on the line to hack clear.

That proved to be his last action of the match as he was replaced by debutant Alex Brown in the centre of midfield.

He would endure a quiet conclusion to the game with both teams seeing the game out with little to speak of.

However the Gills appluaded the fans after the game with a lap of the pitch to show their appreciation to the supporters for their efforts throughout the season.

Gillingham ended the season in 8th place - the same position as last season- and just two points shy of a top seven finish.

Gills: Gazzaniga, Fish, Frampton, Essam, Martin, Montrose (Spiller 62), J Payne (Brown 84), Lee, Jackman, Kedwell, Kuffour (Vine 71)

Unused subs: Flitney, King.

Morecambe: Roche, Haining (Cowperthwaite 24), Reid, Hunter, Alessandra (Mwaslie 68), Burrow, McCready, McDonald, Parrish, Redshaw (Parkinson 57), Carlton.

Unused subs: Kettings, McGee.

Attendance: 4,382 (76 Morecambe)

Bookings: Haining (9) Lee (25), Alessandra (44)

Goals: Lee (18 & 76)

Referee: Mr G Sutton

    Data provided by Press Association


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