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League 1 match report: Barnsley 2 Gillingham 1

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham’s long wait for success at Barnsley continues following Saturday’s defeat.

Kieffer Moore struck twice during a tough opening half for the Gills at Oakwell.

Josh Parker pulled a goal back for the visitors, who were looking for their first win at Barnsley in 50 years, but there was to be no comeback despite a number of late opportunities.

Tom Eaves goes close for the Gills at Barnsley Picture: Ady Kerry (3915415)
Tom Eaves goes close for the Gills at Barnsley Picture: Ady Kerry (3915415)

Barry Fuller was handed a first start since returning to the Gills this season, at the expense of Luke O’Neill. Callum Reilly and Elliott List replaced injured pair Mark Byrne and Regan Charles-Cook.

Boss Steve Lovell changed formation for the match too, going 4-4-2, but his side were under pressure from the off.

It was a one-sided first half where the Gills offered little going forward. Brandon Hanlan volleyed one chance wide and in first half stoppage-time had a goalbound shot that was turned into the net by Tom Eaves, who was in an offside position.

Frustration at Barnsley for Gills boss Steve Lovell Picture: Ady Kerry (3915419)
Frustration at Barnsley for Gills boss Steve Lovell Picture: Ady Kerry (3915419)

Other than that it was Barnsley who took charge, threatening from the word go. George Moncur and Mamadou Thiam both went close early on before Moore’s long-range effort opened the scoring.

Good one-touch football from the home side opened the Gills up and Moore tried his luck from 25 yards, with a low shot that crept in past Tomas Holy, on his inside post.

Holy, who was criticised by boss Steve Lovell for letting in the opener, was kept busy throughout but Hanlan’s volley midway through the half almost levelled things up, his effort going just wide. It was only a brief lull to Barnsley’s attacking play.

The second goal came from the penalty spot, after Elliott List was adjudged to have fouled full-back Daniel Pinillos. It all came from a corner, threaded into the box between two Gills players and Pinillos went down under minimal contact. Moore made no mistake from the spot with a powerful finish.

Action from Gills' game at Barnsley Picture: Ady Kerry (3915417)
Action from Gills' game at Barnsley Picture: Ady Kerry (3915417)

Things got worse for the Gills as skipper Gabriel Zakuani went off with a shoulder injury.

Pinillos was growing in confidence and moments after fizzing one long-range shot wide he smashed another goalwards, the rising effort from 30 yards needed tipping over by Holy.

The linesman’s flag denied Eaves in first half stoppage time after good work from Hanlan inside the box.

Gabriel Zakuani walks off at the end of the game after getting injured Picture: Ady Kerry (3915433)
Gabriel Zakuani walks off at the end of the game after getting injured Picture: Ady Kerry (3915433)

Barnsley remained incharge at the start of the second half, threatening down Gills’ right flank, and Bradley Garmston needed to be alert to deny Moore, clearing his goalbound shot after chaos ensued in the box.

Gillingham halved the deficit against the run of play. A mix-up at the back gifted a chance for Eaves, on the volley, and only a great save from keeper Adam Davies denied him. But from the subsequent corner, Davies could only parry and Parker stabbed it home with 61 minutes gone.

Moore had a couple of chances to restore their two-goal advantage, glancing a header wide from a corner and moments later forcing Holy into another save with a powerful shot from a tight angle.

Gillingham had penalty claims ignored with 10 minutes left, after what they felt was a handball in the box, then missed a golden chance as Callum Reilly put a header over the bar from Josh Rees’ cross.

Max Ehmer, who finished the game as a makeshift striker, put another chance into the side-netting and Parker hit one narrowly wide as the Gills finished strongly, without reward.

Gillingham: Holy, Fuller, Garmston, Ehmer, Zakuani (Lacey 40mins), Reilly, Bingham, Parker, Hanlan (Wilkinson 66mins), List (Rees 56mins), Eaves. Subs not used: Hadler, O’Neill, Nasseri, Stevenson.

Barnsley: Davies, Cavare, Pinnock, Lindsay, Pinillos, Potts, Dougal, Mowatt, Thiam (Brown 81mins), Moore, Moncur (McGeehan 74mins). Subs not used: Walton, Isgrove, Jackson, Williams, Adeboyejo.

Attendance: 11,434 (259 away)

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