11 Goal Thriller Cannot End Gillingham's Away Record Against Accrington
An amazing 11 goals were scored at the Crown Ground, but once again Gillingham were on the wrong end of it.
The Gills have not won away from home since May 2009, 31 away games ago. Accrington Stanley did not help them as they slotted seven past the team from Kent.
Five of the goals were scored in the first half. It took just 13 minutes for the home side to go in front, after Sean McCinville latched onto a well placed Terry Gornell cross.
However, Gillingham then went on the attack and managed to score two goals in three minutes, both from Mark Bentley, to go into the lead.
If you are a Gills fan, you can guess what happened next.
Just three minutes after taking the lead, they were picking the ball out of their own net after Andy Parkinson blasted the ball past keeper Lance Cronin for his first league goal in three years.
Bentley had chances to put the Blues back in the lead, but it was Charlie Barnett who played in a cross-shot, which managed to find the top of the net just two minutes before half-time.
Accrington had a 3-2 lead at half time.
Ten minutes into the second half, Gillingham were back on level terms. Cody McDonald scored the goal of the game with a superb solo goal. He ran half the length of the pitch, gliding past defenders into the area and chipped it over Ian Dunbavin.
But yet again, the Gills made it hard for themselves. They conceded two penalties in just four minutes; one for an alleged push, and the other for a trip.
These two fouls gave Accrington the chance to go ahead. Just after the hour mark, they were winning 5-3.
Gornell then beat the offside trap and casually rolled the ball over the line for Stanley's sixth.
Gillingham were then given a lifeline. Keeper Dunbavin pulled down McDonald in the penalty area, which lead to Adebayo Akinfenwa converting the spot kick to make it 6-4.
But with just five minutes remaining, the game took a turn for the worse. A mad brawl ensued right in front on the dugouts.
Danny Spiller was fouled by Ryan, who kicked out at the Gills midfielder. In reaction to this, both benches were empty as all the players and staff rushed over to get involved.
The officials then deliberated. Ryan was lucky to stay on the pitch and escape with a yellow card. However, the Gills' goal hero was given a yellow card, his second, and thus was sent off.
With the Gills down to 10 men and losing 6-4, their hearts must have sunk as they saw the fourth official hold up his board, saying five minutes of injury time.
Ryan added insult to injury. First he got Bentley sent off, then he blasted home Stanley's seventh goal in the time added on.
Final score 7-4.
This is the second time this season that Gillingham has scored four away from home but still lost (Sept. 4, 5-4, vs. Bury).
However, it's not all doom and gloom for the fans at Priestfield. They will remember just two seasons ago when they went to Shrewsbury and conceded seven goals. They then met them again in the playoffs at Wembley and got promoted.
It may happen again.
Gillingham's next away game is at Port Vale. Maybe they can end this away winning drought against the current League Two leaders.
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