Football: Neill secures draw for nine-man Lions
By Lindsay Harrison
Wednesday 30 December 1998
The visitors had their captain, Scott Fitzgerald, sent off in injury time, for a second bookable offence, after Gerard Lavin had preceded him into the showers in the 62nd minute. While Gillingham extended their unbeaten run to 16 League games, they missed out on the opportunity to regain fifth place.
Even playing against a strong wind, the home side played with more gusto in the first period, befitting their reputation as serious promotion candidates, and deserved their 13th-minute lead. Mick Galloway exchanged a one-two on the edge of the penalty area with Rob Taylor and from 20 yards saw his shot balloon up off Steven Reid and into the top corner over the debutant goalkeeper Phil Smith.
Smith, coming in as a late replacement for Nigel Spink, whose wife had been taken ill, saved well from Taylor as the striker, playing despite a hernia injury that will require surgery, bustled his way through the middle.
It seemed only a matter of time before Gillingham would pull further ahead, Jamie Stuart producing an exemplary tackle to deny Carl Asaba.
Millwall have been in fair form themselves of late and almost equalised nine minutes before the break. Tim Cahill and the highly rated Paul Shaw combined to feed Neil Harris on the edge of the area and his curling shot rebounded off the far post.
There was plenty of derby rivalry and four bookings in an energetic first period was a fair reflection of some meaty challenges.
Cahill could have levelled when Millwall finally managed an effort on target, the midfielder diving to head Lavin's centre straight at Vince Bartram. But just after the hour the visitors' task was made all the steeper when Lavin was shown the red card for an off-the-ball difference of opinion with Asaba.
Gillingham were left hanging on as Millwall's 19-year-old keeper produced an outstanding save to tip over Taylor's rasping volley after 74 minutes.
That stop seemed all the more important as Millwall achieved parity eight minutes from time, when substitute Richard Sadlier turned Adrian Pennock on the left edge of the penalty area and picked out Neill arriving late who drove home from 10 yards out.
Gillingham (3-4-1-2): Bartram; Bryant, Pennock, Ashby; Southall, Paul Smith, Galloway (Saunders, 88), Patterson; Hessenthaler (Hodge, 74); Taylor, Asaba.
Millwall (4-4-2): Phil Smith; Lavin, Stuart, Fitzgerald, Ryan; Reid (Sadlier, 79), Cahill, Bowry, Neill; Harris (Nethercott, 90), Shaw.
Referee: S Bennett (Orpington).
Latest in Sport
William Carvalho to Arsenal? Gunners make new enquiry for £35m rated midfielder
Manchester United transfer news: More signings expected, indicates Ed Woodward
CM Punk 'never ever ever' going to return to WWE (so he probably will)
Manchester United transfer news: Completed summer deals
James Rodriguez joins Real Madrid: World Cup star completes £63m move
- 1 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 2 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...
Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...
£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...
£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire