GillsConnect News Desk

Dateline: WEDNESDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2017

 
 

GILLINGHAM’S STARTING LINE-UP & SUBSTITUTIONS

Gills: Tomas Holy, Luke O’Neil, Alex Lacey, Gabriel Zakuani, Connor Ogilivie, Mark Byrne, Sean Clare, Scott Wagstaff, Lee Martin, Tom Eaves and Conor Wilkinson (Josh Parker 66).

Unused subs: Steve Arnold, Max Ehmer, Ben Nugent, Darren Oldaker, Jake Hessenthaler and Greg Cundle.

Pennock made two changes from the Oxford line-up with Luke O'Neill and Sean Clare replacing Ben Nugent and Jake Hessenthaler who started on the bench. Wimbledon with ten blanks in their last twelve matches were off to a flying start within the first minute as a long ball clearance was straight into the Gills penalty area and forced a tremendous save from Tomas Holy.


The ball ran loose and Connor Ogilivie cleared for a corner that also had to be hacked off the line by Connor Ogilivie. A minute later and another superb save from Holy this time to deny Don’s Hartigan from opening the scoring and a further effort from a rampant Wimbledon forced a second corner.


One-way traffic from Wimbledon as they tried to surprise and test Gills with long ball action and plenty of energy as the rain poured down on the two sets of players. Ten minutes into the game and it’s all Wimbledon as Kwesi tries with an effort that flashes just wide of the post, a Nightingale header that was saved by Holy and an Appiah header that was cleared off the line. This start has rattled the Gills defence but they looked resolute and Tomas Holy has saved them yet again.

  STORY OF THE MATCH

Gillingham 1


Yellow Cards

Scott Wagstaff (45)

Tom Eaves (81)

Mark Byrne (82)

Red Cards:

Lee Martin (45)

Ball Possession 44%

MoM: Tomas Holy

Attendance: 3,819 (411 Gillingham fans)

AFC Wimbledon 1


Yellow Cards:

Deji Oshilaja (42)

Lyle Taylor (45)

Will Nightingale (65)

Red Cards:

None

Ball Possession 56%

MoM: Andy Barcham

Former Gills Andy Barcham (right) on the attack and he combined well with Appiah and easily whips around Luke O’Neil but his cross was plucked out of the air by Tomas Holy.


Gills still haven’t got going in this game and haven’t had a shot on target with Gills defending in numbers with midfield players helping out. Seventeen minutes and a brilliant move from Barcham with another superb pass to Appiah and his cross was met with a header by Taylor but Holy makes a magnificent stop to save Gills again.


Twenty-five minutes and Gills had their first real attack inside the Wimbledon penalty area that involved Tom Eaves, Scott Wagstaff and Sean Clare but unfortunately the final ball was missing.

The 30 minutes mark reached and the Wimbledon rush and thrust play action has subsided and Gills are beginning to have more of the ball but without producing much goal threat. Gills first shot with any decent power was created by captain Lee Martin but his effort from around 25 yards was wide of George Long’s goal.


35 minutes and Gills go behind when ex-Gills Andy Barcham put over a curling cross that was meant for Taylor who tried but missed the ball fooling everybody including Gabriel Zakuani and goalkeeper Tomas Holy as the ball hit the far back of the net.


Right on the break another good chance for Wimbledon as header from Taylor at the back post was pounded into the ground and the ball bounced up and over the Gills bar.


45 minutes and referee Kinseley sends of the Gills captain Lee Martin for hitting the back of Taylor’s head in frustration but it was an absolutely stupid act by the Gills captain as he had already won a free-kick and Taylor had received a yellow for his part in the previous handbag fight for the ball.


Then a sensational end to the half. With the Gills looking in a bad way and a goal down they went down the other end and equalized through Sean Clare who reached a long throw and hit a shot on target from 20 yards. The ball was not powerfully hit but it struck the post and re-bounded into the net.


Half-time: Wimbledon 1 (Andy Barcham) v Gills 1 (Sean Clare - right)

Ten men Gills start the second half quietly and Pennock has made no changes as Wimbledon’s Kwesi gets an early free header but although in a good position he put the ball over the bar.


On 55 minutes Tomas Holy pulls off another superb save from ex-Gills Barry Fuller and then straight up the other end for five Gills corners in quick succession, all taken by Sean Clare. From these both Tom Eaves and then Alex Lacey go close as ten men Gills start to pressure the Wimbledon defence.


The hour mark is passed and pretty even game with most supporters waiting for the mistake that will possibly lead to the winning goal. Nightingale brings down Wagstaff on the run and right on the edge of the area. The free-kick was taken by Conor Wilkinson but he hammers the ball into the defensive wall. Minute later Pennock sent on striker Josh Parker to replace an average performance from Wilkinson.

Seventy minutes and Wimbledon send on former Gills striker Cody McDonald to possibly torment the Gills ten men. However it was Gills former captain Barry Fuller who went close for Wimbledon as his shot flashed past Holy’s post.


Gills still trying to come forward and Tom Eaves had a half-chance that was deflected out for a corner that was taken by Sean Clare but unfortunately came to nothing but one minute later Eaves had another effort that was blocked. The Gills ten men were holding their defensive line but Wimbledon were coming forward relentlessly with ten minutes remaining.


Wimbledon substitute Harry Forrester strikes a shot onto the bar with Holy beaten and he followed this up with another sweet effort that was palmed over by Holy for a corner. With Wimbledon piling on the pressure they have another shot that had to be blocked by Mark Byrne.


With five minutes remaining Gills were finding it very difficult and a great chance for Deji Oshilaja who had the ball at his feet two yards out but somehow missed the open goal. Four minutes of added time and Tomas Holy made another great save with his feet to keep the score at 1-1.


No doubt that Wimbledon were the better team overall but the ten men of Gills fought to the end in appalling conditions caused by driving rain and although they rode their luck at times they have gained what might be a very valuable point come the end of the season.

Gills Man of

the Match

Tomas Holy