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Tim Allman

Postcard from Priestfield

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Fantastic support yesterday evening and well done to all that braved the dogsh!t strewn streets of Gillingham to get to the game. The good atmosphere was helped by being undercover, so some decent noise could be made.

What a difference being in the home end. We had shiny new toilets to use, as opposed to a porta-cabin and a stand that didn’t sway in the wind, plus it had a roof. Luxury.

I saw the line up and the four subs but I didn’t wonder as to the reasons why.

The first fifteen minutes were quiet and City were second to the ball in most areas of the pitch, but gradually we worked our way back into the game and our best periods of the game were the twenty minutes either side of half time. Martin had a couple of chances, one shot blazed over from the edge of the box, and their keeper made a very good save after Hughes had been released on the right.

We should have been ahead at half time. Gillingham had one break down the right which looked offside and their player went down in the box, but no pen was given.

One of their players got booked for a horrible tackle on Hughes which I thought was a red card. I winced as their man slid in showing a full set of studs.

The newbie fullbacks both took a while to get into it. Francomb looked very nervous and always looked for the safe ball, but grew in confidence and looked a tidy player. Whether he’s up to a league start is another question entirely. Wiggins looked a little rusty (not surprisingly) but again improved as the game went on.

We started decently in the second half. Jamie missed a very good chance just before Martin was subbed off. I was expecting Jamie to come off for Cody, as he was not having a great game, but it was Martin presumably saving him for Saturday. Cody took his goal well, turning the defender and firing high into the net and should have scored immediately after when he got a foot to the ball and it lobbed over the bar.

I think that Cody did a proper Grant Holt type slide over to the fans after he had scored, but I was jumping around too much to be sure. They’ve must have been practising that one in traynun Neeal.

Doc came off after around 70 minutes after having had a solid game, and was replaced by the giant Stephens who did ok. He was turned once, got out of position, but had the pace to recover well.

The last fifteen minutes was Gillingham’s best period and we were under pressure, but Forster didn’t have a shot to save. Some wayward free kicks, some lobs into the box and two shots wide were all Gillingham could muster.

Of the midfield, Hughes looked very neat and tidy and Adeyemi improved as the game went on. There was one instance towards the end when we were under pressure when Adeyemi could have panicked and hoofed it but he held the ball, drove up the line and won us a throw in, slowing the game down and relieving the pressure. An old head on young shoulders.

It wasn''t a classic by any stretch of the imagination, but it was an away win, and a deserved victory. Some fringe players got a good run out and Lambert will have learnt some more about the squad. It was very encouraging to see so many youngsters playing and acquitting themselves well.

Got back home to Kenton at midnight after a trouble free journey home accompanied by a couple of cabs of Red Stripe. Happy Days.


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Good to see our 2nd string side can hold their own against a side at our level, gives me a little bit of hope that if they''re needed for the first team they can do a competant job.

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