The general consensus around Gillingham and all those who support the club is that this season, Gillingham can get promoted.
After winning a tough away match at Morecambe 1-0 four days ago, for most fans it seemed the odds would be stacked against Gillingham to make it two wins in a row away from home, especially considering the Gills’ dire away form so far this campaign.
But rather surprisingly, and even more so when they went 1-0 down, the club from Kent managed to muster up three goals in the second half and secure their second consecutive away win, beating Port Vale 3-1 at Vale Park.
One of the reasons many Gillingham fans have to believe that their team will be promoted this season is that they always seem to start the better and dominate their opponents. And that was the case in this match, as an Andrew Barcham shot in the 3rd minute was parried back out to Gary Mulligan, with his follow-up blocked on the line.
However, after around 10 minutes the home side found their rhythm, and on the 11th minute keeper Simon Royce had to be alert to tip a long range effort over the bar. Royce was then called into action on 20 minutes, diving to his right to save a free-kick from Marc Richards.
Port Vale had finally settled down, and after turning things around in terms of chances and possession, they managed to build on that with a goal.
Marc Richards was given a clear opening after good work down the left from Lee Collins, and the striker made the most of the opportunity by curling a beautiful shot into the far corner.
For the second half, Gary Mulligan was taken off and replaced by club legend Nicky Southall, who dropped into right midfield. This allowed Dennis Oli to move up-front and partner Canadian international Simeon Jackson in attack.
And the shift around soon paid dividends, as it took just four minutes after the re-start for the Gills to find that equaliser; Dennis Oli rifling home a beauty of a shot from fully 20-yards out.
After obtaining the equalising goal, the momentum soon shifted in Gillingham’s favour, with striker Simeon Jackson going close on two occasions.
And after pressing for around 20 minutes, the Gills managed to take the lead on 69 minutes. A John Nutter corner fell to Dennis Oli, who then returned it to the former to swing a ball in from the left, for Adam Miller to rather fortuitously put it into the far corner.
The home side’s fate was then decided three minutes later. Midfielder Anthony Griffith handled in the box from a Nicky Southall cross from the right, meaning referee James Linington had no option but to point to the spot. Jackson then converted to make it 3-1 to the visitors.
Vale created some late pressure in desperate pursuit of a consolation, but it wasn’t to be as the Gillingham defence held on, ensuring it would be them who would come away with three points.
So three goals, three points, two consecutive away wins, and now a position in the Coca Cola League Two play-offs. If Jacko doesn’t do a runner, and Dennis Oli can manage to stay fit, then surely Gillingham have a decent chance of getting promoted, and being closer to moving back up to where they truly belong.
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