Coca-Cola League One
Saturday 14th January 2006
Gillingham 3 Swindon Town 0
Gillingham had a score to settle against Swindon and they settled it well at Priestfield.
The sides last met in an old Division Three Play-Off Final replay on 29th May 1987 - and there's been tension between the clubs ever since.
It would have filtered through to both sets of players as to how important a victory was to respective sets of supporters, although it was Gillingham who seemed more intent on gaining victory in the first half after creating a number of chances in the opening 10 minutes. Daniel Spiller sent a deflected header over the bar, Darren Byfield's dipping shot landed just over and Spiller then again went close from 12-yards as Rhys Evans parried at full stretch.
Swindon then posed a threat when Rory Fallon flicked on to Charlie Comyn-Platt whose header was well held by Jason Brown.
Gillingham then came surging forward again when Spiller threaded the ball through to Michael Flynn and his first time shot under pressure was kept out by Evans' legs.
Gillingham's pressure paid off though with the opening goal on 19 minutes. Alan Pouton's shot from outside the box looped up into the air and Byfield rose above Evans to head home.
The talking point of the second half was that Paul Smith, who had been on loan at Gillingham until 31st December, came on as a substitute for Swindon after linking up with their boss Iffy Onuora, who was also returning to Priestfield after two playing spells at Priestfield, 24 hours before the game.
Back to the game then and Swindon came close to equalising on 52 minutes, but Brown blocked superbly from Fallon's back post header.
Gillingham then added a second in style. Spiller's persistence paid off as he embarrassed Aaron Browne on the right before pulling the ball back for Michael Flynn to finish first time and after that there was only ever going to be one outcome - a Gillingham victory.
Seven minutes from time Gills boss Ronnie Jepson sent on Gavin Grant and he flicked on Jackman's right wing corner with his first touch - and Neil Harris was on hand to bundle the ball over the line.
As sweet victory then as Gillingham's home form gets better and better.
Gillingham: Brown, Clohessy, Jackman, Pouton (Wallis 87), Johnson, Cox, Spiller, Flynn, Byfield (Grant 82), Harris (Hope 89), Crofts.
Subs not used - Crichton, Sancho.
Swindon Town: Evans, Jenkins, Nicholas (Holgate 61), Miglioranzi, Ifil, O'Hanlon (Smith 45), Shakes, Comyn-Platt, Cureton, Fallon, Browne.
Subs not used - Bulman, Pook, Lapham.
Bookings: Flynn, Byfield, Harris (Gillingham); Holgate (Swindon)
Referee: Mr L Probert