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Match highlights and reaction: Gillingham manager Neil Harris on delays getting to Brentford for their Carabao Cup game after traffic chaos in West London

Gillingham were celebrating a famous victory on Tuesday night after a day that manager Neil Harris described as carnage.

Protests on the M25 meant the club’s pre-match plans were thrown into chaos and the team bus got stuck a quarter of a mile from the ground, meaning the players had to walk the last stretch and climb some fences to get to the ground.

Gillingham win at Premier League Brentford Picture: KPI
Gillingham win at Premier League Brentford Picture: KPI

It was all worth it in the end as the Gills came from a goal down to take Premier League Brentford to a penalty shoot-out in the Carabao Cup third round and win it, earning the League 2 club a place in the last 16 of the competition.

“We had had a bit of a carnage day but got the reward for it in the end,” said the Gills boss.

“We had to walk (to the ground) because we couldn’t get there. That was a challenge, we had to climb barriers, over fences, but as a group we had to help each other over those fences and the players took it in their stride. It obviously kicked off late because of it.”

Gillingham had already had to abort previous plans and leave Priestfield two hours earlier after problems on the M25, caused by Just Stop Oil protestors. The team got to their hotel for pre-match preparations but the last leg of the journey proved tricky, with gridlock on the Chiswick roundabout.

The game was due to kick off at 7.45pm but was delayed once to 8pm and then again to an 8.05pm start.

Gillingham celebrate their shootout success at Brentford Picture: KPI
Gillingham celebrate their shootout success at Brentford Picture: KPI

Harris explained. “We thought we would move (on the coach). I had already named the team and done the tactical analysis at the hotel but it gave me chance to speak to units on the coach, got them down the front, we sat around the tactics board and it was fortunate I had one with us onboard.

“We got to the stage where we were in contact by phone with the guys at Brentford and the referee. We tried to get a police escort to us but couldn’t. We certainly couldn’t move the coach so we decided to get out and walk.

“I have got to say, what a great club, the security guards (from Brentford) came and helped us, helped us over the fences and showed us in.

“It was a memorable night, partly because of the performance and the fans but also what we endured to get there. We walked for about quarter of a mile, a 10-minute walk and people were very polite to us. I have done it before as a Millwall manager at Elland Road and they weren’t so polite!”

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