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21:21 4th October 2011

Luke Rooney battles against Barnet


After the kick-off had been delayed for 15 minutes because of a power failure at MEMS Priestfield, the lights went out on another of the Gills route's to Wembley as Barnet came from behind to win this Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Section Second Round tie.

After a brilliant first-half display from the Gills, it all went wrong after the break as the visitors took advantage of more sloppy defending from the Gills to hit back and snatch an unlikely victory.

The Gills totally dominated the opening half and the visitors had excellent keeper Liam O'Brien to thank following a number of decent saves.

Unfortunately a fussy display of refereeing from Graham Scott that saw five Gillingham players booked in a game that was hardly fierce was a major talking point while he also gave Barnet two penalties.

Gillingham boss Andy Hessenthaler was certainly trying to get his point across to the official at the end of the game that's for sure!!

The Gills made five changes from the starting XI from Saturday's defeat at AFC Wimbledon but had Andy Hessenthaler wished to have made more he was restricted by the competition's rules. Argentinian goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga came in for his debut while on-loan forward Jo Kuffour made his full debut having come on as a substitute at Kingsmeadow.

After a relatively quiet opening the Gills took a fifth minute lead. Luke Rooney played in a free-kick from the right and Garry Richards, making his 100th appearance for the club, celebrated by bundling the ball home at the far post.

Referee Graham Scott gifted Barnet a way back into the game when he harshly awarded a 10th minute penalty, and booked skipper Andy Frampton, for an alleged holding on Clovis Kamdjo. The Gills nemesis in recent times, Izale McLeod hammered home the resultant spot-kick straight down the middle.

Some good work by Stefan Payne and Frank Nouble down the right created a good opening in the 20th minute but the latter's low cross was inches away from Kuffour while it came at the wrong height for Rooney to get in a telling effort.

The Gills were playing with plenty of confidence with Kuffour, Nouble and Payne all linking well.

A terrific run from deep in his own-half by the pacey Nouble created the next chance in the 25th minute but Payne was twice denied at the near post, first by keeper O'Brien then by a defender.

From the resultant Danny Jackman step-over corner, Rooney broke into the area but was denied at almost point-blank range by former England Youth international O'Brien.

With 32 minutes almost gone a scintillating run from Rooney took him past a number of challenges and into the area but his final touch saw the ball deflect wide of the goal off the trailing boot of the Bees keeper. Had it gone in I'm sure it would have been repeated time and again on TV

With the Gills totally dominating, a Payne cross from the right was a little too high for the leaping Nouble and his looping header dropped onto the roof of the net.

Then further half chances saw Curtis Weston fire high onto the empty Town End, Lewis Montrose smacked an effort wide while Kuffour's attempted lob was taken by O'Brien who then blocked his shot after Frampton had gone up for a header.

It was amazing that such a one-sided half could finish level.

H/T: 1 - 1

Unfortunately the half-time whistle affected the flow of the game and the Gills struggled to get their rhythm going again, at the other end Gazzaniga was still little more than a spectator.

The one man who as noticeable in the opening stages of the second-half was referee Scott who booked three players in quick succession.

First was a 51st minute booking for Montrose, for a late lunge on the marauding Mark Marshall, that proved costly as it was his fifth of the season and he will now sit out Saturday's visit of Port Vale.

Then a minute later Mark Byrne was yellow-carded for the visitors following a trip on Rooney and the card-fest continued in the 55th minute as Weston was adjudged to have tugged at Marshall's shirt.

The only chance had seen Payne head straight at the former Portsmouth keeper O'Brien before Fish cracked a speculative effort from around 30-yards in the 64th minute.

Three minutes later Payne saw an angled drive from around 25-yards tipped over the top.

In the 71st minute the injured Fish was replaced by Chris Whelpdale and within a minute Marshall had caught him cold, turning him just inside the area before burying a low shot across Gazzaniga into the far corner to give Lawrie Sanchez's side an undeserved lead.

In the 77th minute a horrendous error from Richards allowed McLeod through on goal and despite Gazzaniga's initial effort to send the forward wide, the keeper brought him down as he cut back inside. Mr Scott pointed to the spot once again and added the Argentinian to his list of bookings.

This time McLeod's effort caused the youth team lads on the Town End more of a problem than the Gills keeper as it flew over the top.

Skipper Frampton was then replaced by Callum Davies.

In the 82nd minute the now more attacking Bees saw a low Marshall effort turned aside by Gazzaniga.

The Gills third and final substitution then took place with Danny Kedwell taking over from Kuffour.

Barnet wrapped up the scoring in the 84th minute when Sam Deering played in McLeod to drill home a third for the visitors.

Payne was a late addition to those booked for a foul on Barnet skipper Hughes.

Attendance: 1,278 (49 Barnet fans)

Gillingham: Gazzaniga, Fish (Whelpdale 71), Richards, Frampton (Davies 78), Jackman, Rooney, Montrose, Weston, Nouble, Payne, Kuffour (Kedwell 82)

Unused subs: Flitney, Oli

Barnet: O'Brien, Kamdjo, Uddin, Leach, Borrowdale, Byrne, Hughes, Marshall, Deering (Vilhete 90), Taylor (Owusu 86), McLeod (Kabba 85)

Unused subs: Brill, Cox

Graham Scott
Assistants: Warren Atkin and Ashley Slaughter
Fourth Official: Barry Holderness


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