Writer: Gillingham Editor
Date:Monday January 1 2007
The Gills kicked off their 2006 fixtures with an impressive 0-0 draw at Huddersfield, before suffering a 1-0 defeat following a lacklustre performance at Barnsley on January 10.
But four days later was the one the Gills fans were all waiting for as fierce rivals Swindon visited Priestfield, and, for once, the Gills didn't disappoint as they cruised to a 3-0 win.
However, the victory was tarnished not only by reports of crowd trouble outside the ground, but also by the end of an era as, after nearly 10 years at Priestfield, legend Andy Hessenthaler left the club.
He wasn't the only departure in the month of January, with Tom Williams, Paul Smith, Tony Bullock and Steven Hislop also leaving the club.
While the Gills were busy not signing anyone in the window, they slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Oldham.
Crystal Palace winger Tommy Black arrived on loan to be the first player to be signed by Ronnie Jepson in the transfer window, and he made his debut in the 1-1 draw with Rotherham.
But the month ended on a real high as Gary Mulligan arrived on loan on the final day of the month before the Gills claimed an unbelievable 2-1 win at Swansea that night.
Black netted his first goal for the club in a 1-1 draw at Chesterfield, before Crewe midfielder Justin Cochrane signed on loan in time to make his debut in another 1-1 draw, against Rotherham.
Four days later the Gills suffered one of their lowest points of the year as they were beaten 1-0 at Swindon, a result they followed up with an equally dismal display at Doncaster.
And the month ended on a low note as Scunthorpe claimed a 3-1 win at Priestfield.
The third month of the year began with a frozen pitch causing the game with Brentford to be postponed, and the Gills claimed a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest in a week overshadowed by a saga involving Brent Sancho as he agreed a loan move to Swansea only for it to fall through.
The Gills then capitulated to a humiliating 6-0 defeat to Bristol City, but it proved the catalyst for a winning run as Brentford and then Swansea were beaten at Priestfield.
The Gills were no fools on April Fool's Day as they came from behind to beat MK Dons and it was four wins in a row as Huddersfield were beaten 2-0.
Four became five as Black scored the only goal to beat champions-elect Southend, but the winning run came to an end as Yeovil and Walsall beat them at the end of the month.
The season ended with a 3-3 draw at Blackpool, before attentions turned to who would stay and go over the summer.
Five players were released at the start of the close season, but Mulligan and Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu became the first summer signings later that week.
They were soon joined by Mark Bentley, Duncan Jupp and Dean McDonald, although Paul Shields was released by the club.
June was a month dominated by the World Cup, although there was double disappointment for the Gills as first Darren Byfield and then Jason Brown left for pastures new.
But the real headlines of the month were made by Brent Sancho, who became the first Gills player ever to play in the World Cup as he represented Trinidad & Tobago in all three of their group games.
And the month ended with Clint Easton becoming the sixth summer signing.
The month started with Kelvin Jack arriving to avert the goalkeeping crisis and the rest of the month was spent preparing for the new season, with Andy Hessenthaler's testimonial the pick of the pre-season friendlies.
The season got off to a flier as Huddersfield were beaten on the opening day, but the tone was set for the rest of the season as that was followed by defeats to Brighton and Bradford followed.
Jack picked up an injury in the first week, so Darren Randolph arrived on loan from Charlton, but he couldn't prevent more defeats, at home to Northampton and then Millwall in the Carling Cup, but the month ended with a 1-1 draw at Blackpool.
September kicked off with a 2-0 defeat to Scunthorpe, which saw supporters calling for the head of chairman Paul Scally.
Scott Flinders became the third goalkeeper to play for the Gills in the season after signing on loan from Crystal Palace, and he made his bow in a superb win at Doncaster, which was followed with home wins over Millwall and Swansea at Priestfield.
But that run came crashing to an end at Oldham before an incredible night at Leyton Orient, which saw the Gills throw away a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3.
The month ended with a new face in the shape of Bas Savage on a short-term deal and a fortunate win over Cheltenham.
The month got off to a nightmare start as the Gills threw away another lead away from home, this time going from 3-1 up to lose 4-3 at Crewe.
A brace of defeats to Nottingham Forest followed, firstly in league and then in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
A 2-2 draw against a Brentford side who played for more than an hour with a midfielder in goal followed before Flinders was recalled and Jack returned to keep the Gills' first clean sheet since April as Carlisle were beaten 2-0 in a game that saw Ben Chorley make his Gills bow.
After throwing away leads away from home three times at the start of the season, the Gills finally gave their own fans a taste of the joy as late goals from Mulligan and McDonald saw Chesterfield stunned in stoppage time, before Bromley were routinely dispatched in the FA Cup First Round.
The second round draw handed the Gills a trip to Bristol City and they warmed up nicely for it by losing 3-1 in the league at Ashton Gate, before Mulligan was on target again to see off Rotherham and end the month on a high.
December started on a low as the Gills suffered their third defeat at Bristol City in 2006, beaten 4-3 in the FA Cup second round.
And it got little better for the rest of the week as first Port Vale and then Yeovil claiming straightforward home wins over the Gills, with Luton keeper Dean Brill making his debut at Huish Park.
The Gills were seeking some home comforts when they returned to Priestfield, but they needed a late Andrew Crofts goal to claim a draw with struggling Bournemouth.
But they then stunned us all by claiming an impressive 3-2 win at Tranmere, a win they followed up with a Boxing Day triumph over Leyton Orient.
And although the year ended on a real low with another defeat to Oldham, it wasn't a bad year, all told.
In all, the Gills played 49 games, winning 19, drawing 10 and losing 20, scoring 69 goals and conceding 79 - enough for a mid-table campaign over a full season...
Date:Monday January 1 2007
Experience Pair Wanted (Monday May 20 2013)
Pre-Season: Gills Add To Schedule (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Pre-Season: Lions Coming To Town (Tuesday May 14 2013)
Payne Set For Permanent Posh Switch? (Monday May 13 2013)
Former Loanee Opts For Portsmouth (Saturday May 11 2013)
That Could've Been Me (Friday May 10 2013)
Hessenthaler Leaves Priestfield (Tuesday May 7 2013)
Trio Honoured By Their Peers (Tuesday April 30 2013)
Gills Winners Named (Monday April 29 2013)
Gills End With A Rare Away Defeat (Monday April 29 2013)
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