GillsConnect News Desk

Dateline: SUNDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2017

 
 

GILLINGHAM’S STARTING LINE-UP & SUBSTITUTIONS

Gills: Tomas Holy, Luke O’Neil, Max Ehmer, Jake Hessenthaler, Tom Eaves, Lee Martin, Connor Ogilvie, Josh Parker, Elliott List (Conor Wilkinson 45), Sean Clare and Mark Byrne

Unused subs: Stuart Nelson, Scott Wagstaff, Darren Oldaker, Ben Chapman, Aaron Simpson and Greg Cundle


Priestfield impeccably observed a minutes silence for Remembrance Day and then the proceedings started with Gills kicking off toward the Town End. Even the most dedicated Gills supporter would recognise that the following first 45 minutes performance was poor by any standard from the Gills team. In a match that was an early season relegation battle, Gills were never really in the contest.

  STORY OF THE MATCH

Bury 1

Neil Danns (39)


Yellow Cards:

Rohan Ince (25)

Philip Edwards (69)

Jordan Williams (78)

Red Cards: None


Ball Possession: 56%

MoM: Neil Danns

Attendance: 4.364 (131 Bury fans)

Gillingham 1

Josh Parker (56)


Yellow Cards:

Max Ehmer (6)

Luke O'Neill (69)

Red Cards:

None


Ball Possession: 44%

MoM: Josh Parker

Gills started brightly enough but this early spark soon faded as the more determined Bury took control.

Inside the first minute Sean Clare produced a superb sliding midfield challenge and rising quickly with the ball sprints forward toward goal. Clare then struck a good drive but it was not on target and the ball narrowly flashed past Bury post. The momentum was sadly not to last as Bury gradually took control.


In the third minute Bury showed Gills the possibilities they were capable of when they broke quickly moving the ball well between players that ended with Neil Danns in space and he shot on target. His effort was blocked and fell to another Bury player but thankfully for Gills the offside flag was raised.


Then worryingly just six minutes into the contest referee Breakspear awarded his first yellow to Max Ehmer for a really blundering foul on Bury striker Nicky Ajose.There was a long way to go for the Gills defender. A minute late the enterprising Elliott List was away down the right and crossed into a wide open space but no other Gills player was anywhere near the penalty area to take advantage.


There was also a cross from the left sent over by Josh Parker only for Tom Eaves to make the softest of headers into the hands of Bury goalie Fasan. Although the match looked a fairly even affair after the first fifteen minutes the underlying tension for Gills supporters was evident and that Bury were finding the men better and moving the ball with comparative ease through the Gills midfield.

What attacking moves there were evident from Gills were either of a non-threatening sort or wasted. In the 22nd minute Tom Eaves drives down the Gordon Stand side and then, from a good position, sends over a cross that clears everybody waiting in the area. Gills captain Lee Martin let Eaves know about his feelings in an outburst and complained to his colleague for wasting the chance.


Referee Breakspear put another name into his book when Rohan Ince grabbed at Elliott List’s shirt, as he won the ball, and was bent on running toward the Town End penalty area.


With Bury increasingly looking the most likely to score they had their best chance of the half on the half-hour. Greg Leigh with his pin-point cross into the path of Nicky Ajose. This was good work from Leigh and O'Shea, to send a superb ball into Ajose who really should have done better then not hitting the target - waste of a good chance.

A minute later Jay O'Shea had an effort just inside the box and his powerful strike struck Ajose on his backside and Gills were saved again. However it was not for long as Bury took a deserved lead on 40 minutes through the lively Neil Danns (pictured above right). Eoghan O’Connell sent a through ball to Danns who had Max Ehmer tracking and the Gills defender initially thought that the Bury man was offside. This was not in question as Danns timed his run to perfection and shrugged off a tame Ehmer challenge before shooting the ball across Tomas Holy into the far corner of the Rainham End net.


The next few minutes to the half-time whistle was all Bury as they very nearly doubled their lead as first Tomas Holy had to tip away a cross that fell in the danger area. A low pass came back across the face of goal but as Nicky Ajose shaped to fire home, Mark Byrne managed a block and then a clearance up field. Another Bury chance as O'Shea hit a decent  cross providing a golden opportunity for Smith but the Bury man strikes the ball wide of the post. Half-Time: Gills 0 v Bury 1 (Danns).

Gills certainly couldn’t play any worse than the first 45 and for the start of the second period Steve Lovell sent on Conor Wilkinson for Elliott List and the Gills substitute was soon into the action. Within minutes Tom Eaves played him in and, using his weight and height, was into the area but puts a shot wide. Then Lee Martin tried a little scoop ball over the last defender and Wilkinson was close to reaching the ball only for the rushing goalie Fasan to reach it first.


Gills were getting up a head of steam at last in this crucial game that they dare not lose and some decent play by Tom Eaves found Lee Martin, who in turn found Mark Byrne inside the area, but the Gills midfielder’s shot was blocked and Fasan had work to do to keep the ball under control.

Bury were not keeping quiet themselves and Neil Danns tried an effort from the edge of the area - bringing the ball down, controlling and then firing just over the bar. Josh Parker did his own version for Gills taking a Martin cross and shooting over.


End-to-end play as Nicky Ajose puts an effort over the top after a good Bury move. Referee Breakspear puts Luke O'Neill into his little black book after a foul in the Bury build-up


Efforts fro Eaves, Clare and Byrne come to nothing as time ticked away for Gills but the momentum was with them as they attacked.


Twenty minutes remaining and a Tomas Holy long ball forward picked out Lee Martin who found Tom Eaves but his shot was blocked. The loose ball bounced out to Byrne who narrowly puts it wide from 12 yards with several Bury bodies scrambling to block.

Conor Wilkinson misses the target with a powerful left footed effort, then just to prove that you cannot leave too much space at the back, Bury’s Andrew Tutte strikes the post from 25 yards with Tomas Holy diving but beaten.


To their credit Gills did not give up and Sean Clare strikes the ball well from fully 25 yards forcing a decent save from Fasan but he couldn’t hold the ball but the follow-up effort from Conor Wilkinson

missed the target. With Gills pushing forward they were leaving gaps at the back as Bury broke forward with O'Shea playing in Nicky Ajose and his effort was tipped over by Holy for a corner.


Then with five minutes left of normal time Gills get the equaliser their second half performance deserved when the in-form Josh Parker (pictured above left) rises in the centre of the box and scores with a clean header from a Lee Martin corner. Josh headed the ball down and the ball went just inside the post with goalie Fasan unable to do anything to stop the ball.


There were four minutes of added time in which Gills had another chance when Jake Hessenthaler won a midfield battle for the ball and supplied Conor Wilkinson only for the striker to put the ball over the bar, off a defender. The resulting corner was too long but comes to Hess who tries to deliver a ball to the back post for Wilkinson and Parker only for the ball to land on the top of the net. The match thus ended all-square and probably this was the fairest result for two struggling teams.