Published: 16:40, 03 May 2014
Gillingham were denied a winning end to their season after conceding with six minutes left.
The Gills wanted to end their season in style but it took them until the 71 minute to take the lead against already-relegated Shrewsbury.
Barrett’s goal had put the Gills ahead but 15 minutes later it was all-square when visiting substitute Shaun Miller headed home.
That goal ended a five-game losing run for the visitors, as the match ended 1-1.
Gills boss Peter Taylor brought Michael Harriman back into defence for the team’s last game of the season.
Notable faces on the bench included Matt Fish – who hadn’t appeared since the first game of the season because of injury – and striker Danny Kedwell. Both were to make an appearance in the second half.
Shrewsbury arrived at Priestfield already relegated and they started the afternoon sitting bottom of League 1. The Gills had already sealed their place in the division.
And the first half had a feeling of an end-of-season match, with only brief highlights.
The Gills had a few early scares. Stuart Nelson saved one effort from visiting striker Tom Bradshaw and moments later parried a free-kick from Luke Summerfield before watching as Connor Goldson blasted the follow-up over.
Gillingham’s best moments came at the end of the half and both fell to leading scorer Cody McDonald. His first chance ended with a shot that bounced off the post. In stoppage-time his heavy touch denied him a shooting chance after being played in by Adebayo Akinfenwa.
An early second half substitution saw Matt Fish return to action, as he replaced injured Leon Legge. Fish hadn’t played since limping off in the opening minutes of the first game of the season.
Akinfenwa headed a corner narrowly wide for the Gills before leaving the field shortly after and being replaced by Kedwell. Young striker Aaron Millbank was also introduced, to make his debut for the Gills.
In a game of few chances, Harriman lifted a shot over the bar as the game drifted towards the final 20 minutes.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 71 minute when Barrett turned in a cross, after Kedwell’s initial chance had been cleared off the line by Summerfield.
Just before the goal Bradley Dack had seen a great effort turned over the bar and Fish also came close, with an acrobatic effort, as the game finally burst to life.
Chris Whelpdale saw a powerful effort turned over by the visiting keeper and Millbank headed the resulting corner over the bar.
Those missed chances proved costly as Miller headed in from close range, late on, to convert Joe Jacobson’s cross.
Gillingham: Nelson, Harriman, Martin, Barrett, Legge (Fish 52mins), Gregory, Hessenthaler, Whelpdale, Dack, Akinfenwa (Kedwell 62mins), McDonald (Millbank 62mins). Subss not used: Linganzi, Lee, Fagan, Baxter.
Shrewsbury: Anyon, Grandison, Jacobson, Summerfield, Iorfa, Bradshaw, Taylor, Wildig (Miller 75mins), Goldson, Woods (Eaves 85mins), Mills (Parry 34mins). Subs not used: Weale, Winfield, Hall, Ginelly.
Attendance: 7,634 (199 away)
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More by this authorLuke Cawdell
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