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No home comforts for poor Gills

Andy Barcham tries to find a way past Barnet's Nicky Deverdics. Picture: Grant Falvey
Andy Barcham tries to find a way past Barnet's Nicky Deverdics. Picture: Grant Falvey

Gillingham 0 Barnet 2

Gillingham's League 2 promotion hopes suffered a blow with a disappointing home defeat against lowly Barnet at Priestfield on Saturday.

Veteran striker Paul Furlong proved a real thorn in the side of Mark Stimson's men, heading in the first after 23 minutes and then winning the penalty that John O'Flynn converted nine minutes after the break.

The Gills, playing their first home game for nearly a month, never really got going in a stuttering display.

Andy Barcham had an early chance racing into the box but his final pass went astray.

Skipper Barry Fuller was in the wars early on, twice needing treatment, Yala Bolasie earning the game's first caution for his challenge on the Gills defender.

Furlong gave notice of his threat with a 14th-minute strike, just wide of Simon Royce's right hand post, but the 40-year-old striker punished them nine minutes later.

O'Flynn crossed from the right and Furlong got in front of his marker to head inside Royce's right hand post.

Bartram had produced a great bit of skill on the by-line moments earlier but his shot was saved by Barnet keeper Jake Cole.

Furlong was booked for dissent in a first half of 23 free-kicks with referee Kevin Friend not proving a pal of either team, with too much whistle.

Nicky Southall's hopeful 35-yard strike landed on the roof of the net just before the break.

John Nutter's long-range effort tested Cole six minutes after the restart, but Gillingham's afternoon got worse soon afterwards.

Mark Bentley challenged Furlong on the edge of the box and Mr Friend pointed to the spot. Bentley seemed the only one to complain, before O'Flynn stepped up to score his 18th goal of the season.

Dennis Oli and Southall had quiet games and were both replaced in the second half - but the Gills fans did not hide their feelings when Andy Barcham was replaced by Garry Richards with 15 minutes left.

Substitute Mark McCammon lobbed tamely wide and then Royce produced a fine stop to deny Furlong.

Richards summed up Gills poor afternoon failing to get a touch from two yards out.

Five minutes were added on at the end but the final whistle was greeted with loud boos around the ground.

Gills: Royce, Fuller, King, Bentley, Nutter, Southall(Miller 67mins, Wright, Weston, Oli,(McCammon 64 mins), Jackson, Barcham (Richards 75 mins). Subs:(not used) Lewis, Julian.

Barnet: Cole, Devera, Yakubu, Breen, Lockwood, Adomah, Bishop, Deverdics, Bolasie (Gillett 90mins) Furlong, O'Flynn(Birchall 80mins. Subs (not used)Kadoch, Porter.

Referee: Kevin Friend. Att: 6,033

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