Without trying to sound arrogant as expected by Millwall fans we took the 3 points on Sunday & also helped to make sure Gillingham did not make the playoffs. From a Millwall prospective the win was important for 2 reasons the first one being that in the play-off semi 2nd leg we would be at home & secondly it was nearly 20 years since we last won away at Gillingham.
Not so long ago, Gillingham were 15 points in front of us & over the last weeks they have seen their season fall apart . Before the kick off to stand any chance of making the playoffs they needed to beat us and also they needed both Barnsley & Scunthorpe to get beat.
Both teams played a 4-4-2 formation but Gillingham played with the diamond in midfield. At the head of the diamond was Bradley Rack & at the base was former Lion Josh Wright. When we played Gillingham at the den back in December, Rack was the main reason we got beat he was allowed to run the game ,so it was important that he did not do it again this time ,also the word on the street that if the Gills did not make the playoffs then Dack was Palace bound . This was never going to be a game of flowing football but the total opposite but to be fair at this stage of the season the result was more important than the performance.
As the teams made their way out on the pitch the locals were very vocal & clearly it had the desired effect on the home team. They never let us settle on the ball, closed us down very quickly and were quick to leave the foot in. But their main threat was from set pieces Dack took the free kicks or corners played into target man full back Deji Oshilaja he never had any clear cut chances but he was a threat. The Lions Line was led by captain Steve Morison and just behind was Aiden O’Brien who towards the end of the first half were causing the Gills back 4. As the 1st half, by this time the home crowd was quiet the reason being Barnsley were 2-1 up against league Leaders Wigan & Scunthorpe were 1 up against Sheffield Utd.
In the second half Millwall were kicking into the end where the Millwall fans were in the 55th minute the Lions struck with a goal by O’Brien , Chris Taylor found Morison who shot & the keeper spilled it and O Brien found the back of the net. By then any hopes Gillingham had of making the playoffs were gone Barnsley were 3 up & Scunthorpe were 2 up and the players would have known it. A couple more times Archer was called into action he pulled off a save from a shot by Dack after he had played a one two with Loft. The Lions were heading for the win when Romeo went into a tackle and the next thing everyone knew he was given a straight red card. This now means he will miss the playoffs, and then right on the 89th min Egan then scored a late equalizer for Gillingham which at that point then meant if the game was drawn we would the second leg of the playoff semi-final away. But Gregory was going for a ball played into the area then he was bundled over by Dickenson and the ref awarded a penalty which was taken by Gregory and put away his 25th goal of the season. The game was restarted then the ref blew for time.
Apart from the fans at the stadium a beam back an organised by the MSC was well attended by fans that could not get a ticket
Gillingham’s Line Up: Nelson, Egan, Ehmer, Loft (Williams 58), Hessenthaler (Jackson 58), McDonald, Samuel, (Norris 59), Dack, Dickenson, Wright, Oshilaja
Subs not used by Gillingham: Morris, El-Abd, Donnelly, Osadebe
Millwall: Archer, Romeo, Martin, Beevers, Webster, Thompson, Abdou, Ferguson,(Upson 71), O’Brien (Gregory 74), Morison, (Craig 86) Taylor
Subs not used by Millwall: Forde, Edwards, Williams, Onyedinma