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Barnet 2 Gillingham 0 - match report

By Luke Cawdell

Martin Allen got the better of his former Gillingham team at The Hive on Saturday.

John Akinde put Allen’s Barnet ahead in the second half of the pre-season friendly and Alex Nicholls doubled the lead.

Gillingham created openings of their own but failed to have the cutting edge.

The Gills included new signing Paul Konchesky in their starting line-up for the match at Barnet, played in temperatures that nudged 30 degrees.

In defence Emmanuel Osadebe once again lined up in the centre, partnering Max Ehmer.

Barnet, managed by former boss Martin Allen, included former Gills player Curtis Weston in their starting XI.

Rory Donnelly had a good early chance for the Gills after latching onto a knockdown from Cody McDonald. Keeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle just managed to get a hand to the shot.

There was good link up play in midfield between Billy Knott and Bradley Dack, producing a couple of efforts for the latter, but both went wide of the mark.

Osadebe, in defence, looked assured early on and calm in possession but will have been disappointed to let big striker John Akinde get the better of him with 10 minutes of the half left. The powerful effort went wide of the mark.

Makeshift centre-back Osadebe did show his athleticism when making a flying block to deny Luke Gambin.

Donnelly was in the right place to get on the end of a clearance from a Ryan Jackson cross early in the second half but was left with his head in his hands as the attempt on goal was blocked by Dira Dembele.

The intriguing battle between Akinde and Osadebe continued after the break, with the Gills man producing a great challenge on the slide to deny the big man.

It was Akinde who put Barnet infront with 56 minutes gone, slotting home at the far post from a Harry Taylor cross as the hosts broke forward.

The home side doubled their lead on 67 minutes when Akinde got the better of the Gills defence, found runner Alex Nicholls, and he slotted home past Stuart Nelson.

Gillingham continued to have spells where the link-up play was tidy but finding a breakthrough was more of a problem. A curling effort from Mark Byrne was comfortably dealt with by the keeper.

Akinde made another chance for Barnet with eight minutes left, fending off the challenge of Ehmer and Osadebe before laying it off for Jean-Louis Akpa Akrpo, who bent an effort just wide.

Gillingham: Nelson, Jackson, Konchesky (Lelan 60mins), Ehmer, Osadebe, Wright (Oldaker 76mins), Knott (Martin 80mins), Dack, Byrne McDonald (Norris 76mins), Donnelly (Quigley 76mins). Subs: Hadler, Hessenthaler, Cundle, Arnold.

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