Elkan Baggott heads home to secure a point as Gills draw 1-1 with Barrow at ME7.
Elkan Baggott’s second half goal was enough to ensure Gillingham got a point in a 1-1 draw against Barrow at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.
Neil Harris made one change to the starting XI that drew with Stevenage as Dom Jefferies replaced the injured Shaun Williams in midfield. Stuart O’Keefe was named in the matchday squad for the first time since the draw at Hartlepool, while Joe Gbode was amongst the substitutes.
Hakeeb Adelakun had a shot in the opening seconds of the game. He was allowed to venture into the visiting half before aiming for the far corner from 25 yards. However, it was comfortably wide of the target.
David Moyo had Barrow’s first-half chance of the game. Ben Whitfield curled a corner into the penalty area, where Moyo rose the highest. He tried to glance his header towards the back post, but it went wide of the target, leaving Glenn Morris untroubled.
The game burst to life in the 30th minute as both teams hit the bar in a matter of minutes. Josh Kay came inches away from giving the visitors the lead. He was allowed to shoot from 25 yards out as he shot across the goal aiming for the top corner. His effort beat Morris, but not the bar as it crashed off the woodwork before Gills cleared their lines.
Adelakun forced Paul Farman into an incredible save three minutes later. He did well to avoid being in an offside position before cutting inside onto his right foot. Adelakun directed a shot towards the top corner, but Farman somehow got a fingertip on the ball to push it onto the crossbar.
Kay made no mistakes moments later as he gave Barrow the lead. He did well to adjust his body to acrobatically find the bottom corner on the volley as the ball was just out of the reach of Morris.
HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-1 Barrow AFC
In the 54th minute, Barrow were awarded a penalty. A cross into the box was floated into the path of Morris, but the referee penalised Elkan Baggott for a push in the back.
Kay stepped up to take the spot and was denied by Morris, who guessed the right way. He got down low and to his left to save the penalty before quickly recovering the second ball.
Lewis Walker, who replaced Mikael Mandron at half-time, had a great opportunity to equalise moments later. Will Wright curled a cross into the penalty area in the direction of Walker. Scott Kashket, who was in an offside position, left the ball, leaving Walker in acres of space. However, he was quickly closed down by Farman, who made the save and injured himself in the process.
In the 74th minute, Baggott equalised for the Gills. Wright curled a corner towards the back post, which was out of the reach of Farman, who tried to get a hand on it. Baggott was waiting at the back post to head into the back of an empty net.
Kashket had a good chance to give Gillingham the lead just minutes later. Jordan Green, who replaced Alex MacDonald earlier in the half, did well to get beyond a defender before playing a low cross towards the near post. Kashket got on the end of it but could only direct his effort over the crossbar.
Wright forced Farman into a save in the 85th minute. The defender had a free-kick at a tight angle, and his ball towards the box was in the path of the Barrow goalkeeper. He was forced to come towards the ball and palm it into a host of players inside the penalty area. However, no one could make anything of the rebound before the visitors gathered their bearings.
Billy Waters had a great chance to retake the lead for Barrow. Gills could not clear a corner, and the ball eventually made its way towards the path of Josh Gordon and Waters. Waters was the man that decided to strike it but blazed his effort over the crossbar from around eight yards out.
FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-1 Barrow AFC
Gillingham: Morris, Wright, Ehmer, Baggott, Alexander (Law 71’), Adelakun, McKenzie, Jefferies (O’Keefe 64’), MacDonald (Green 64’), Mandron (Walker 46’), Kashket (Gbode 84’)
Unused Substitutes: Turner, Mnoga
Barrow AFC: Farman, Brough, Canavan, Waters, Kay, White (Foley 79’), Neal, Warren, Moyo (Gordon 75’), Ray, Whitfield (Stevens 71’)
Unused Substitutes: Lillis, Smales-Braithwaite, Kenlock
Attendance: 5032 (155 Barrow fans)
Referee: Martin Coy