Writer: Gillingham Editor
Date:Wednesday December 2 2009
The Gills suffered more away-day heartbreak as they were beaten 3-1 at Leyton Orient.
But the scoreline doesn't even begin to tell the tale of an incredible evening which left the Gills with every right to be upset at what had gone on.
Traffic on the way to the game left the Kent club with just seven players at the ground at 7pm, yet referee Andy D'Urso refused a request to delay the kick-off.
Manager Mark Stimson was therefore forced to name whatever team he had at his disposal - which apparently at one stage would have seen both goalkeepers starting - and eventually had to start with three enforced changes, as Febian Brandy, Barry Fuller and Chris Palmer were all too late to be in the starting XI.
They weren't the only casualties though - the Gills kit and most of the media representatives who follow the club everywhere also missed the game because of the traffic.
So John Nutter, Kevin Maher and Mark McCammon returned to the starting line-up as the Gills lined up wearing Orient's black away kit.
As you might expect, the Gills - clearly affected by their chaotic build-up - made a shaky start and fell behind after just four minutes when Charlie Daniels' cross found its way to Ryan Jarvis, who lashed home a volley past the static Simon Royce.
But the Gills regrouped and John Nutter whistled a free-kick over the top, before McCammon shot straight at Jamie Jones following great work down the left from Andy Barcham, and Simeon Jackson tried his luck from distance but was off target.
With just over 3,000 fans in the ground - with many Gills fans also stuck in traffic - the game lacked atmosphere and any real sparkle, but the Gills levelled just after the 20-minute mark.
Again Jackson tried his luck from distance and this time it was on target and spilled by Jones, straight to Weston who followed up to score.
However, parity was shortlived as Weston was dispossesed in the midfield by Sean Thornton who was allowed to run through and get his shot away from 25 yards, and it flew past Royce into the top corner.
Jackson could have levelled again two minutes later but shot tamely at Jones after being played through by Weston, while Royce saved well from Jarvis shortly afterwards and Nutter was off target with another free-kick as the half drew to a close.
The second half made the worst possible start for the Gills as they were further behind within four minutes. Maher's pass on the edge of the box was intercepted and Orient broke with pace, Luke Summerfield eventually teeing up Jimmy Smith to lash home past Royce.
Jones did very well to keep out a deflected Jackson cross minutes later, before Brandy came on for McCammon, who was disappointingly booed by a section of the travelling support.
Jackson forced Jones into another save, before teeing up his strike partner, who shot just wide from a tight angle.
Unfortunately, there was no way back for the Gills and Royce made a save to deny sub Adrian Patulea, and although Maher shot just over, the Gills had to come away from an away game - yet again - with nothing.
There was still time though for the fans to let the club down, with a section - presumably the same who abused McCammon - booing Maher as he came to applaud them at the end. This doesn't help anyone, so please don't do it.
Date:Wednesday December 2 2009
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)
Stats: Burton v Gillingham (Sunday April 28 2013)
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