Gillingham Are Back Where They Belong In League 1 After Last Gasp Goal

Daniel GoochAnalyst IMay 24, 2009

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 23:  Simeon Jackson of Gillingham (R) celebrates with Garry Richards as he scores their first goal during the Coca Cola League 2 Playoff Final match between Gillingham and Shrewsbury Town at Wembley Stadium on May 23, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Gillingham are nearly back where they deserve to be. After a nail-biting League Two Play-off Final the Gills are now back in League One. Now just one more promotion to get into the Championship.

Saturday 23rd May is a day that will stay in my memory forever. The atmosphere was amazing all day, from Gillingham's stadium, to Wembley, and back again.

"7-0, and you f**ked it up!", what could be better than thousands of fans shouting that at complete strangers?

The journey getting to the stadium is part of the experience, and...well, this certainly was an experience. Walking straight past fans at the station to be stopped in our tracks as we got to London.

The sight and sound that greeted us at London Victoria was outstanding. A sea of blue and a choir of...great voices.

Who needs Mourinho, we've got Stimmo!

Mark Stimson has been a God-send since he started out at Gillingham. He has kept the faith in the team since the sem-final win against Rochdale at Priestfield, and he has been able to get the full potential out of this squad.

The game was something else.

Chance after chance. Gasp after gasp. Miss after miss.

Gillingham were the first to create a chance after Simeon Jackson was fouled. John Nutter took the free kick which was headed into the side netting by Barcham.

The South East side had a few more close chances going wide of the goal before Shrewsbury Town had the first chance of the game after the half an hour mark.

Gillingham centre-back Garry Richards was penalised for an elbow "to the face" on Nick Chadwick. Ben Davies curled the free kick inches wide of Simon Royce's right-hand post.

The Gills started the second half in the same spirit that the ended the first. Both teams had their chances, with Gills going closer on a number of occasions.

Five minutes in, Royce was tested, but pulled off a great save to stop the volley by Davis. As the game rolled on Gillingham were as good as they have been, but the northerners had a spell of pressure.

However, with 20 minutes to go, Barry Fuller made a great run to the edge of the 18-yard box, only for Jackson to miss the shot. Then a minute later, another cross by Fuller went towards Andy Barcham, only for him to do an air kick and miss the ball completely.

89:58—A corner swung in to the six-yard box was met by the diving head of Jackson which flew towards the post. The defender on the line tried to stop it, but it hit his arm and went into the top of the net. The keeper clawed it away but it was too late.


One goal was all that was needed for Gillingham to gain instant promotion back up to League One.