A look back at the promotion winning campaignIt is the penultimate month of March as Richard Day continues his review of the record-breaking 2012-13 League Two title winning campaign…
The month started with the relatively short journey to face Aldershot at the EBB Stadium on March 2 where the Gills came from behind to nab a deserved point.
Craig Reid smashed the Shots ahead with a half-volley two minutes into the second-half but Leon Legge, who had instigated the move, rose to nod home a Chris Whelpdale cross with 15 minutes left to earn a valuable point and send the 981 away fans home reasonably happy.
A week later and Plymouth were beaten 2-1 in front of a season-best crowd of 10,260 at Priestfield.
Antonio German became the 20th different Gillingham goalscorer of the season when hooked the ball home after Bradley Dack’s free-kick was deflected into his path just after the half-hour.
The lead was then doubled in the 61st minute when Whelpdale tapped home after German’s shot came back off a post.
Bottom-club Argyle continued to battle and they made for a rather nervy ending when Jason Banton fired home to reduce the arrears with 13 minutes remaining.
Both Hull City defender Danny East and Michael Richardson, a midfielder from Newcastle United, made their loan debuts in the game as second-half substitutes.
This game was followed by three successive draws, long midweek trips to Exeter and Rochdale with a Saturday game at Morecambe sandwiched in-between.
A richly-deserved point was gained from a goalless meeting with the Grecians at St James Park where Stuart Nelson was once again busy making a number of saves.
That said the Gills could have snatched the points but Danny Kedwell hooked an effort wide of the target.
It was Dack that struck a 52nd minute leveller, pouncing on a poor clearance in the Globe Arena mud to fire home, against Morecambe after Jack Redshaw had fired the Shrimps ahead just before the break.
The last of this away day trio at Spotland saw the Gills go behind once again, George Donnelly on target, before Kedwell levelled matters in the 56th minute from a Matt Fish cross and held on after Andy Frampton was dismissed late on.
After this run of away fixtures the Gills returned to Priestfield on March 23 when Leam Richardson’s battling Accrington Stanley were the visitors.
This game was decided by one goal, but what a goal it was.
Joe Martin’s diagonal ball found Chris Whelpdale but his attempted cross was blocked and right-back Fish pounced on the loose ball to smash a spectacular left-foot strike home from 22 yards, the ball flying in via the crossbar. It was of course later voted goal of the season.
The month’s fixtures ended with the Gills first-ever trip to Highbury Stadium where they faced a Fleetwood Town side still with play-off hopes of their own.
Twice Martin Allen’s side took the lead, a neat build-up, which included Adam Birchall’s back-heel, set up Kedwell to curl home a third minute opener and then after Jamille Matt had equalised Charlie Allen restored the lead just before the break when heading home Martin’s cross.
Again it was Matt that restored parity in the second-half and the game finished 2-2.
League form - DWDDDWD League position at the end of the month – Top
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