Richard Days report from Beechings CrossGoing into time added on 2-0 up, Gillingham’s youngsters, despite being down to 10-men, looked odds-on favourites to take the points in their Youth Alliance fixture at a sweltering Beechings Cross on Saturday morning. – Tierney, Davis, Kaye, Harris, McArthy, Torner, Kirkwood (Blackman 63), Matthews, Banahan, Roberts, Blackmore Unused subs: Buckley, West & DicksonBournemouth
– O’Neill, Romeo (Kitt 70), Staunton, Freiter, Lee, Maughan, Coates, Blanchard (Hendricks 70), Millbank, Miller (Webster 70), Haysman Unused subs: Vincent & Cundle Gills
minute and four minutes later Roberts was on-hand to prod home after O’Neill parried Blackman’s shot. th Roberts was on hand to turn-in Daryl Blackman’s ball across the face of goal in the 90
To their credit it was the home side that continued to push forward, Haysman shot wide and substitute Charlie Webster saw an attempt saved but despite their numerical advantage Bournemouth didn’t create anything until it all went wrong at the end.
Just five minutes later the Gills went two-up from the penalty spot, Miller converting low to the keepers left after he’d been clipped in the area by Sam Kirkwood.
minute although from where I was watching the official had little choice. th Darren Hare’s side were forced to play the final 33 minutes in the energy-sapping conditions with just ten men after referee Elad Amir dismissed Millbank in the 57
It wasn’t all one-way traffic though as O’Neill made decent saves to deny Lewis Blackmore and Roberts while Macauley Banahan and Roberts both failed to hit the target after getting in behind the Gillingham rearguard.
There were a number of other chances, Haysman had a low shot blocked by keeper Ed Tierney which saw Miller denied by a last ditch tackle from the follow up, Michael Freiter struck a long-range shot at the keeper, Alfie Coates smacked a shot from distance wide and Aiden Blanchard put a low strike across the face of goal.
It was a lead that could have been doubled shortly afterwards but after good work by Miller, Josh Staunton got in behind the Cherries defence but failed to hit the target with a near-post effort.
The Gills went ahead in the fifth minute when Millbank flicked on keeper Dan O’Neill’s ball forward which enabled Haysman to run on and coolly slide home his second goal of the season.
minute shortly after Aaron Millbank had been dismissed for a mistimed challenge before Kieran Roberts struck a late, late double to inevitably make the long haul back to Dorset much more palatable. nd Kane Haysman put the Gills ahead early on and Ashley Miller doubled the advantage in the 62
Unfortunately it wasn’t to be however as the Cherries, who were playing their first game of the season, scored twice in the five minutes of stoppage time to snatch what had looked a very unlikely point.