Published: 14:50, 26 December 2012 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
Gillingham were beaten on home soil by lowly Barnet on Boxing Day.
The League 2 leaders were a goal down at the break after Barnet’s Jake Hyde fired home midway through the first half.
It had been a disappointing first 45 minutes for the Gills, who started the afternoon five points clear at the top of the table, as they registered just one meaningful attempt on target.
A triple substitution after an hour saw an improvement, but Barnet hung on to take maximum points. The Gills have now won just once from their last five home league matches.
Boss Martin Allen made three changes to the team which had drawn 2-2 with Fleetwood in their last encounter. On that occasion they had to come back from a two-goal deficit.
And they gave themselves another mountain to climb, this time against a side sitting 22nd in the league, and one which Allen had led to League 2 safety last season in what was his third spell at the club as manager.
The visitors, with former Dutch international Edgar Davids in the team, had the better of the first-half chances. Davids himself tried a cheeky flick at goal, but his attempt lacked pace and precision.
However the veteran midfielder created the opener when he picked up a loose ball and found Mark Byrne. He fed the ball to Hyde and, with the defence backing off and opening up in front of him, he smashed the ball into the roof of the net.
The Gills struggled to impose their game on the visitors, to the frustration of the home fans, but nearly levelled after 27 minutes. Matt Fish was found in space by Romain Vincelot, but the resulting shot was blocked by keeper Graham Stack.
It was as good as it got for Allen’s side in that half. At the other end, John Oster fired in a free-kick which tested the alertness of Gills keeper Stuart Nelson. He tipped the effort over the bar.
Barnet were still bossing the game with an hour gone, prompting Allen into making the triple switch. Jack Payne, Chris Whelpdale and former Barnet striker Adam Birchall all came on and immediately the Gills looked much livelier.
Whelpdale shot just wide and Charlie Allen had a shot saved by the keeper as the chances kept coming. In the space of 10 minutes the Gills had created more opportunities than the previous 60, as Birchall and Deon Burton also had efforts denied by an overworked Stack.
The Barnet keeper was on hand to deny the Gills again with 10 minutes left, with successive impressive saves to deny Joe Martin and Burton.
Gillingham: Nelson, Fish, Martin, Davies, Barrett, Montrose (Payne 60mins), Vincelot (Birchall 60mins), Lee (Whelpdale 60mins), Allen, Burton, Weston. Subs not used: Kedwell, Strevens, Frampton, Forecast.
Barnet: Stack, Fuller, Byrne, Holmes (Weston 84mins), Yiadom, Hyde, Johnson, Stephens, Oster, Iro, Davids. Subs not used: Brown, Fortune, Nurse, Cowler, Lee, Atieno.
What did you think? Comment below.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.