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Gillingham 1 Barrow 1 League 2 match report: Elkan Baggott secures point after Glenn Morris penalty save

Elkan Baggott scored for the second game running as Gillingham took a point against Barrow.

The defender, who turns 20 tomorrow, met a Will Wright corner for the Gills’ second-half equaliser at Priestfield.

Elkan Baggott heads home Gillingham's equaliser against Barrow. Picture: KPI
Elkan Baggott heads home Gillingham's equaliser against Barrow. Picture: KPI

Josh Kay had given the Bluebirds a half-time lead but went on to have a penalty saved by Glenn Morris.

At one down, Gills were still in the game and so it proved as Baggott got his birthday celebrations off and running.

Barrow’s flying start to the season had stalled in recent weeks, arriving at Priestfield on a run of four defeats.

Gills, on the other hand, were unbeaten in their previous four games, although three of those were drawn.

There seemed genuine optimism around ME7 before kick-off, buoyed by an encouraging display against league leaders Stevenage the previous week.

Indeed, Gillingham made a positive start with Hakeeb Adelakun’s bright run and shot inside a minute, but it proved something of a false dawn in what was a frustrating first half.

It was a story of poor pass selection, overhit balls, balls going out of play, with Gills struggling to find any rhythm.

Barrow were neat and tidy in possession, without looking like blowing Gillingham away.

They might have gone in front before the quarter-hour mark when David Moyo climbed unopposed from Ben Whitfield’s corner in the middle of the goal, nodding wide of the far post.

A poor game sparked into life in a four-minute spell after the half-hour mark.

Dominic Jefferies keeps his man at bay. Picture: KPI
Dominic Jefferies keeps his man at bay. Picture: KPI

First, Kay turned nicely and saw a 30-yard drive crash back off the bar for the visitors.

It was the Gills’ turn to hit the bar when Adelkaun unleashed a cracking strike from 25 yards that was touched on to the woodwork by keeper Paul Farman and out for a corner.

If it was going in, it goes down as a terrific save.

Shortly after, in the 35th minute, Barrow went in front.

It was a lovely goal, with Tom White, Billy Waters and Whitfield combining around the edge of the box before Whitfield’s cross was acrobatically finished by Kay.

Barrow started the second half on the front foot, Wright snuffing out Moyo after latching on to Kay’s pass, Cheye Alexander throwing himself in the way of Whitfield’s strike, and Morris parrying from White.

The Bluebirds were then awarded a penalty out of nothing, Baggott with a shove on Moyo.

Kay stepped up but his 55th-minute spot-kick was saved by Morris, diving to his left.

That raised the volume and, moments later, half-time substitute Lewis Walker was denied an equaliser after meeting Wright’s cross, Farman with an excellent save.

Substitute Jordan Green takes the game to Barrow. Picture: KPI
Substitute Jordan Green takes the game to Barrow. Picture: KPI

Whitfield’s ball across the six-yard box was crying out for a finish with just under 20 minutes left.

Having survived that scare, Gillingham levelled in the 74th minute.

Wright played a corner to the back post and Baggott climbed highest to head home for the second week running.

Gillingham tails were up and Scott Kashket went close to making it 2-1 from Jordan Green’s cross, leaving boss Neil Harris with his hands on his head.

Waters blazed over for Barrow in the last few minutes, he and substitute Josh Gordon perhaps getting in each other’s way.

Gillingham: Morris, Alexander (Law 71mins), Wright, Ehmer, MacDonald (Green 64mins), Mandron (Walker 46mins), McKenzie, Jefferies (O’Keefe 64mins), Adelakun, Baggott, Kashket (Gbode 84mins). Subs not used: Turner, Mnoga.

Barrow: Farman, Brough, Canavan, Waters, Kay, White (Foley 79mins), Neal, Warren, Moyo, Ray, Whitfield (Stevens 71mins). Subs not used: Lillis, Gordon, Smales-Braithwaite, Kenlock, Stevens.

Referee: Martin Coy.

Attendance: 5,032 (155 away).

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