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18 May 2013

A look back at the promotion winning campaign

Richard Day looks back on the record-breaking 2012-13 League Two title winning campaign, beginning with pre-season…

The Gills began their first pre-season under new manager Martin Allen and his coaching staff with a gruelling training camp at Le Touquet in France which was followed by six first-team friendlies.

Ben Strevens scored the only goal of the game as the Gills, who used 22 different players including trialists Ryan Gilligan, Dean Morgan and Damian Reeves, won against Dartford in front of a 1,049 crowd at Princes Park on July 21.
Four days later Bradley Dack went goal crazy scoring four of the seven notched in the ‘Centenary’ game against the Royal Engineers at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

The other scorers in the 7-1 victory were Adam Birchall, Danny Kedwell and Charlie Lee.

Then on July 28 the Gills made the short journey up the A2 to face Blue Square Premier Ebbsfleet United at Stonebridge Road.

There was a fair sprinkling of Gillingham fans in the attendance of 915 which saw Danny Kedwell’s brace added to by Strevens in a 3-2 win.

Another three days on and the Gills recorded a 2-1 win at Blue Square South Dover Athletic – the scorers at the Crabble were Danny Jackman and Birchall against his former club.
On Saturday August 4 came an impressive 1-0 home victory over Championship neighbours Charlton Athletic.

The winner against a strong side put out by Addicks boss Chris Powell came through Kedwell in the 26th minute, Lee’s long throw being glanced past Ben Hamer at his near post by the Gills centre-forward.

Three days later the unbeaten start came to an end when Watford came to town. Czech Republic striker Matej Vydra, who went on to have a great season in the Championship, scored twice for Gianfranco Zola’s young side and Connor Smith netted a third with just half-an-hour on the clock.

Deon Burton, who had joined the club earlier that day, played his first 45 minutes in Gillingham’s colours.

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