LIST: “I’M CONFIDENT IN MY ABILITY”

Elliott List is hoping to build on his performance in his first league start for the Gills in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Oldham and show supporters what he is capable of.

Gills head coach Ady Pennock spoke of the importance of wingers in his first press conference at the club last week, and was impressed with List’s display at the Sportsdirect.com Park on Saturday.

The 19-year-old made a couple of mazy runs down the right-wing against the Latics, before being substituted for Rory Donnelly in the 68th minute.

List on…his first league start: “I just wanted to show the fans what I can do, [to] try and be positive and create something for the team.

“That’s my game, I try and create chances. I still think I can bring more. It [Saturday] wasn’t the best performance I have had, and it wasn’t the worst, but you can always do better, no matter who you are.”

List on…his personal game: “I’ve been practicing one-on-ones with [first-team coach] Steve Lovell, who has been helping me. I’ve been getting at the full-back and trying to get crosses in, while trying to get a lot of the ball.

“I am confident in my ability. I know what I can do. I just have to show everyone else that I am doing the right things; getting balls into the box and scoring goals for the team.”

List on… the new management: “Everyone wants to get behind him [Pennock] and get results for him. We’re devastated we didn’t get the result [on Saturday], but we have to go to Sheffield United and bounce back.”

List on…drawing fouls from the opposition: “I’ve always had that from a young age. I’m always going to get fouled as I am quick, but I don’t mind as long as we get free-kicks in good areas, it’s a positive.

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PENNOCK: “WE WANT TO HIT THE GROUND RUNNING”

Recently-appointed Head Coach Ady Pennock hopes to hit the ground running and pick up points in his first few matches in charge of the Gills, starting at Oldham Athletic on Saturday, January 14.

The new management team of Pennock, Steve Lovell, Jamie Day and Neil Withington were accompanied by Gills chairman Paul Scally in their first press conference at the club on Friday morning.

Pennock, a former captain and fan-favourite, took his first training session in charge shortly after the press conference, and is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

Pennock on…being back at the club: “I am delighted. Everybody knows what I think of the football club. The chairman gave me a call a couple of days ago and asked me to be Head Coach; it was great.

“I had some fantastic times here as a player, obviously playing at Wembley twice was great, and I have a rapport with the supporters. Long may that continue.

“I am very pleased to be here, and very excited. With the backing of the chairman and with Steve [Lovell] and Jamie [Day], two very good coaches, plus Neil [Withington], one of the best fitness coaches around, the boys will be working very hard on and off the pitch.”

Pennock on…the Gills supporters: “I want to get this place rocking and rolling again. When we were here last time it was a fantastic place. The supporters are absolutely top draw, both home and away.

“The amount of support we take on the road and the noise they make is phenomenal, and we’d like for that to carry on and get their bums off the seats when we’re winning games.”

Pennock on…the January transfer window: “We’ve had lots of conversations and I’ve had agents calling me. It’s January, there are players whose loan spells end and there are contacts expiring.

“There’s not going to be wholesale changes, but there are going to be two or three players coming in, and, unfortunately, two or three going out.

“We have to make those decisions very quickly, because we want to come in here and hit the ground running. We’re not here to just make up the numbers; we want to get result straight away.”

You can watch the full press conference below:

GILLINGHAM 1-1 CHARLTON: MATCH REPORT

Stuart Nelson’s heroics weren’t enough for the Gills, as substitute Nicky Ajose’s last minute penalty earned Charlton a 1-1 draw at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.

Nelson replaced Jonathan Bond on 31 minutes, with the latter going down with a groin problem, and Nelson made a number of world-class saves to deny the Addicks throughout the second-half.

Bradley Dack opened the scoring against his former club with a sublime header, before Nelson saved Ricky Holmes’ second-half penalty. Ajose scored from the penalty spot on 90 minutes to take a point back the Valley.

Justin Edinburgh started with a 4-3-3 formation, with Frank Nouble, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Cody McDonald leading the line up front.

Chris Herd dropped to centre-back with the absence of Deji Oshilaja through suspension, and captain Josh Wright also missed out after picking up his fifth yellow card in midweek against Walsall.

Emmanuel-Thomas had the first effort of the game on 10 minutes, shooting in to the wall after Dack’s laid off free-kick.

The Gills dominated the opening 20 minutes, and McDonald was making a nuisance of himself up front, challenging for every ball that came his way and causing Ezri Konsa problems in the Addicks’ defence.

Josh Macgennis held the ball up well for Charlton on the few occasions he received it with his back to goal, but the away side weren’t getting the ball in forward areas enough for the striker to make an impact.

Ryan Jackson tried to replicate the goal he scored away at Shrewsbury last season with 24 minutes played. Charlton did well to clear a corner-kick, and the right-back let fly from 30-yards but the ball flew into the Brian Moore Stand, where the away following were housed.

The Gills had a great opportunity on 26 minutes, as Emmanuel-Thomas played through Dack. The forward took a sublime touch and, with Dack on the overlap, played him in but the Gills number 23 couldn’t get enough lift on the ball to dink it over the onrushing Declan Rudd.

Bond was replaced by Nelson on 31 minutes, with the latter receiving a great reception from the Rainham End toward which he was running.

On 32 minutes Charlton had half a chance when the ball fell to Macgennis on the six-yard line, but it was easily smothered by Nelson before a Charlton player could attack the ball.

Emmanuel-Thomas looked scintillating on the right-had side of the attacking trio, and produced a sublime piece of skill on 35 minutes. The forward picked up the ball on the wing, and cut inside, nutmegging one player, then shimmied to the right, nutmegging another and setting the Gills on an attack.

On 41 minutes the Gills were in front after two ex-Addicks combined. Emmanuel-Thomas, who was in fine form, switched the ball to Paul Konchesky, and the left-back cut in and hit a right-footed cross, where Dack popped up with a top-class header to make it 1-0.

Gillingham went into half-time with a well-deserved 1-0 lead.

H/T: 1-0

Russel Slade brought on last year’s Sky Bet League One top scorer Nicky Ajose for the restart, replacing captain Jonnie Jackson, as Charlton reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.

Emmanuel-Thomas was looking hungry to get on the scoresheet himself, and had a long-range effort saved on 54 minutes, after great play from Nouble. The latter picked up the ball in the centre of the park and switched play to the right-hand side, where Emmanuel-Thomas cut inside and shot, but his effort was gathered by Rudd.

Charlton had their best opportunity of the match on 58 minutes. Ex-Gill Andrew Crofts whipped the ball in to Macgennis, but Nelson was equal to his header, that looked to be heading for the top corner, with a magnificent save.

From the resulting corner, the Addicks were awarded a penalty after Jackson was adjudged to have man-handled Frederik Ulvestad.

Holmes stepped up to take the spot-kick, and struck the ball sweetly to the left, but Nelson made an astonishing save to deny the midfielder, palming away fort a corner.

The atmosphere ramped up a notch following the save, with both sets of supporters spurring on their team, and the Rainham End chanting “England’s number one” to the Gills stopper.

On 65 minutes the crowd were on their feet as McDonald went rushing in on goal and was taken down from behind. No penalty was given, to the dismay of the stadium and Charlton broke on the attack.

Man of the match Nelson made yet another world-class save to deny Jason Pearce’s volley on 70 minutes, as Charlton looked to get their way back into the game.

Nouble and Dack were the next to combine for the Gills on 76 minutes. Nouble held the ball on the left-hand side of the six-yard line and played in Dack, who took a snap-shot that went just wide of the upright.

80. Substitute Lee Novak scored for Chesterfield when visiting the MEMS Priestfield Stadium last season, but he wasn’t in luck today. With 80 minutes played the forward took a touch past Herd and tried squeezing the ball under Nelson, but the keeper made yet another great save.

Emmanuel Osadebe replaced Jackson on 84 minutes, with the right-back going down with cramp.

The away side were awarded a second penalty with one minute of normal time remaining, after Herd handballed in the box.

This time, it was Ajose who stepped up, and the substitute made no mistake from six-yards, sending Nelson the wrong way.

Gillingham had the chance to take all three points with the last kick of the game, but McDonald’s free-kick was blocked by the wall and the full-time whistle went to give both teams a share of the points.

Gillingham: Bond (Nelson, 31), Jackson (Osadebe, 84), Ehmer, Herd, Konchesky, Knott, Hessenthaler, Dack, Nouble, Emmanuel-Thomas, McDonald
Unused subs: Donnelly, Pask, Oldaker, List, Byrne

Charlton: Rudd, Jackson, Lookman (Ajose, 45), Crofts, Macgennis (Novak, 78), Holmes, Konsa, Pearce, Ulvestad, Solly, Fox
Unused subs: Phillips, Foley, Lennon, Hanlan, Teixeira

Referee: Mark Hayward
Attendance: 8,670 (2,260 away)

CHESTERFIELD 3-3 GILLINGHAM MATCH REPORT

Scott Wagstaff scored a 95th-minute equaliser as the Gills fought back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to earn a memorable draw against Chesterfield.

The Gills trailed to Connor Wilkinson’s close-range header after just 75 seconds, but after Kristian Dennis double the hosts’ advantage at the Proact Stadium shortly after the break, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas scored his first penalty of the night to keep the visitors in the game.

Wilkinson’s solo goal 18 minutes from time appeared to finalise the result. However Emmanuel-Thomas scored another penalty on 76 minutes, before Wagstaff’s first goal for the Gills earned Justin Edinburgh’s side a hard-fought point.

Because of injuries to Paul Konchesky, Ryan Jackson, Cody McDonald and Rory Donnelly, Edinburgh started with a 3-5-2 formation, with Wagstaff and Emmanuel Osadebe playing as wing-backs. Darren Oldaker came in for his first league start and there was a place on the bench for 17-year-old youth prospect Ben Chapman.

However, the Gills got off to the worst possible start, conceding with just two minutes played from a Chesterfield set-piece. The home side won a free-kick on the left of the Gills penalty area following a Max Ehmer foul. Jon Nolan swung in the ball and Wilkinson headed into the back of the net with the simplest of finishes to give the home side the early advantage.

Gillingham’s first attacking threat came from Bradley Dack out wide on eight minutes. The makeshift striker beat one man and cut in onto his right-foot, then passed to Mark Byrne in a more central position. Byrne took a touch before unleashing a 25-yard strike that flew just over the bar.

With 23 minutes on the clock, Byrne showed his defensive capabilities after another Chesterfield cross. Sam Hird picked up the ball on the left and crossed the ball across the six-yard line, but Byrne cleared to deny a certain goal before any of the on-rushing Spireites could tap the ball in to an empty net.

The Gills struggled to keep hold of possession in the opening half-hour, but looked dangerous on both occasions Wagstaff was on the ball. The right-winger did well to fire a ball across the box to Emmanuel-Thomas on 31 minutes, and the striker managed to turn and shoot, but it was well-blocked by the Chesterfield defence.

Gillingham came close in the last piece of first-half action, after promising play down the left. Osadebe played in Oshilaja, and the defender cut back a fizzing ball that was begging for a Gills player to attack, but no one could get on the end of it.

H/T: 1-0

With just six second-half minutes played, Chesterfield doubled their lead. Wilkinson easily beat two Gills defenders and was on his way down, before Nolan took possession of the loose ball and was bundled over. The referee pointed to the penalty spot and Dennis slotted home from 12 yards.

Elliott List replaced Knott shortly before the hour, as Edinburgh looked to inject some much-needed pace into the side. It proved to be a brilliant decision, as the youngster’s energy changed the game and forced the hosts back.

On 64 minutes, the Gills won a penalty out of nothing. Ehmer, still up from a corner, lifted the ball into the penalty area, where Oshilaja was fouled by Tom Anderson. Emmanuel-Thomas calmly strutted up to the ball, and blazed home to bring the visitors back into the game.

However, Wilkinson had his second, and the Spireites third, of the night with 18 minutes remaining. The midfielder latched on to a loose ball on the edge of the area before galloping towards goal at speed. With just the ‘keeper to beat, Wilkinson fired the ball over Nelson to make it 3-1.

The game took another turn on 76 minutes, as Wagstaff was fouled on the far right of the box, and another Gills penalty was awarded by referee Trevor Kettle. Cue the same taker, and the same outcome: despite goalkeeper Ryan Fulton going the right way (to his right), Emmanuel-Thomas’s low shot had too much speed and nestled into the bottom corner. The comeback was on.

Gillingham looked better in the last stages of the game, with List’s directness, JET’s strength and Wagstaff’s energy unnerving the home players and fans alike.

With the full 90 minutes played, Fulton spilled a cross but Oshilaja was headed a difficult rebound over the bar. Yet the Gills weren’t done: List’s perseverance set defender Josh Pask free on the left, and he found Dack. The attacking player cut inside onto his right foot and shot, and after Fulton could only parry, the patient Wagstaff was alert and ready to slot home for the equaliser.

F/T: 3-3

The Gills return to action on Saturday to face AFC Wimbledon at the Cherry Red Records Stadium in south west London. Our 800 tickets for the game have now sold out!

Chesterfield: Fulton, Hird, Liddle, Mitchell (O’Shea 62), Nolan, Dennis, Anderson, Wilkinson (Dimaio 77), Maguire (Donohue 86), Ariyibi, Graham
Unused subs: Evatt, Gardner, German, Parkin

Gillingham: Nelson, Ehmer, Oshilaja, Wagstaff, Knott (List 59), Pask, Byrne, Dack, Oldaker, Osadebe, Emmanuel-Thomas
Unused subs: Hadler, Wright, Dickenson, Hessenthaler, Chapman, McDonald

Referee: Trevor Kettle
Attendance: 4,714 (124 away)

GILLINGHAM 2-1 COVENTRY: MATCH REPORT

Gillingham produced yet another comeback victory against Coventry City at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday, moving up to eighth in the Sky Bet League One table.

Kyel Reid gave Coventry the lead with a brilliant left-footed shot, but Max Ehmer brought the Gills level before half time, heading home from Ryan Jackson’s long throw. Billy Knott scored his first Gillingham goal in the second-half, slotting home from Cody McDonald’s perfect pass to give Gillingham victory, which Stuart Nelson secured with a brilliant save in added time.

Justin Edinburgh switched things up after the heavy defeat to Spurs with Rory Donnelly, Knott, Scott Wagstaff and Nelson all starting for the Gills, as they returned to the diamond formation.

Gillingham looked lively early on and Knott had the first effort of the game within the first minute, but his effort with the outside of the boot was saved by Reice Charles-Cook low down in the Coventry goal.

The visitors, however, nearly took the lead after five minutes as a defensive tackle inadvertently played Marvin Sordell through, but Nelson was out quickly to block both ball and man, taking a whack in the process.

McDonald was next to go close for Gillingham in what was a lively first ten minutes. Donnelly did well to win a high ball with the knock down falling to the Gills striker, however the volley was wide of the right post. With 12 minutes gone a Bradley Dack corner found Deji Oshilaja free in the box but the defender, reaching for the ball, was just unable to get enough contact on the delivery.

After Coventry’s first shot of the target that provided a simple save for Nelson, Gillingham nearly took the lead. First, Donnelly held the ball up well down the right hand side of the box but his cut back just evaded the onrushing McDonald and Knott. From the resulting long throw McDonald got up well to head toward the goal, but Charles-Cook did well to make the stop.

Coventry took the lead after 20 minutes with a brilliant left-foot shot from Kyel Reid. The wide-man found space in front of the defence before finding the corner with a powerful shot.

Gillingham responded immediately with Knott firing a low shot from 25 yards that had the power to trouble Charles-Cook, but was straight at the keeper, before Dack claimed a penalty that was turned down by the referee after a coming together on the byline.

Gillingham equalised after 25 minutes through the head of Ehmer. Jackson delivered another long-throw which the Gills centre back met with perfection to find the corner of the net and level the score.

The Gills were looking the more likely side to take the lead going into the break. Knott just failed to make contact from a great Donnelly cross with the ball falling to Jackson after Wagstaff air-kicked; the right-back unleashed a low left-footed drive which was nearly diverted into the Coventry net by an away defender, after 37 minutes.

Soon after, Sordell wriggled free of the Gillingham defence to power a drive forcing Nelson to tip over for a corner.

Both sides continued to look threatening on the attack, with neither managing to create any further clear-cut chances before the end of the half although Dack did blaze over from 30 yards in the last of the first-half action.

H/T: 1 – 1

Mark Byrne replaced Josh Wright over the interval with Nelson taking the captain’s armband for the Gills.

Gillingham were out the traps the quicker of the two teams and Wagstaff had the first attempt at goal, heading well over from a powerful free-kick whipped in by Dack. Wagstaff next tried his luck from 30-yards after 49 minutes but dragged his shot wide.

It was more of a cagey encounter in the second half as both sides failed to find the fluidity that had made the first period such an engrossing encounter.

McDonald had a great chance to give Gillingham the lead with 57 minutes gone. Dack played a great one-two with second half substitute Emmanuel Osadebe, before playing McDonald in down the left. The striker took a touch before driving past the ‘keeper but wide of the left-hand post.

At the other end Nelson had to be alert to keep Coventry at bay, palming away a stinging, swerving drive before a low cross from Lewis Page beat all the onrushing City attackers.

Gillingham took the lead after 71 minutes courtesy of Knott’s first Gillingham goal. McDonald did brilliantly to hassle the defender, nicking the ball and feeding Knott who had acres of space to pick his spot and beat the ‘keeper.

Nelson did well to tip a powerful 79th minute Reid drive over the bar as the visitors started to attack the Gills with gusto.

Coventry were in the ascendancy as they looked for a way back into the game but Gillingham were defending resolutely and looking dangerous on the counter.

Substitute Ben Stevenson went close for Coventry as the game neared added time, but his low drive from 25-yards whistled wide of Nelson’s post.

The Gills’ number one made a brilliant save in the second minute of added time to deny a certain goal from Sordell who shot low and powerfully but the Gills keeper got a glove on it to divert the ball around the post. Gills hung on in added time with Nelson’s save proving to be the decisive action in the game.

F/T: 2 – 1

The Gills travel to Chesterfield on Tuesday, looking to put together successive victories and move up the table.

Gillingham: Nelson; Jackson (Osadebe, 54), Ehmer, Oshilaja, Konchesky; Wright (Byrne, 46), Wagstaff, Dack, Knott; McDonald, Donnelly (Emmanuel-Thomas, 69)
Unused subs: Hadler (GK), Pask, Oldaker, List

Coventry City: Charles-Cook; Willis, Turnbull, Ricketts, Kelly-Evans (Jonesm 46); Bigirama, Gadzhev (Agyei, 73), Page, Reid; Sordell, Wright (Stevenson, 70)
Unused Subs: Addai (GK), Lameiras, Tudgay, Harries

Attendance: 7,664 (380)
Referee: Brett Huxtable

GILLINGHAM 1-1 BRADFORD: MATCH REPORT

Gillingham shared the spoils with Bradford City on Saturday afternoon at MEMS Priestfield in a competitive game of few clear-cut chances.

Cody McDonald put the Gills in front with a superbly taken right-footed shot that rifled into the top corner, before Jordy Hiwula equalised for Bradford, glancing home a corner. Ryan Jackson was sent off for Gillingham deep into second half stoppage time, as he received his second yellow card of the game, but the Gills managed to see out the final few minutes to claim a draw.

Justin Edinburgh made two changes in personnel and tweaked the system ahead of the visit of the Bantams. Emmanuel Osadebe and Rory Donnelly replaced Billy Knott and Bradley Dack, while Scott Wagstaff took his place on the bench for the first time in a competitive match for the Gills. The manager lined his team up up with a front-three seeking to squeeze the visitors with a high-energy pressing game.

Bradford had the first effort of the game, after a bright start from Gillingham. The away side broke quickly and Mark Marshall found himself with space on the right hand corner of the Gills box, where the wide man cut in before curling a left-footed, vicious shot wide of Jonathan Bond’s post with seven minutes gone.

Gillingham, however, took the lead after 11 minutes with a fantastic team goal. Donnelly held the ball up well down the right hand side before feeding Osadebe, who in turn played the ball into the box. McDonald bamboozled two Bradford defenders before rifling into the top right corner of the goal to give Gillingham the lead.

The Gills were next to threaten, from an unlikely source off a Jackson throw. His delivery found Mark Byrne in the box, however the midfielder was unable to find the target from his downward header.

City responded soon after with a concerted spell of pressure which the Gills, and Emmanuel Osadebe in particular, defended brilliantly by getting their body in the way of the ball and chasing the away side hard. Billy Clarke dragged a shot from just outside of the box wide on 24 minutes but Bond remained untroubled in the Gills goal.

Both teams were surging forward at every opportunity and Bradford levelled the game after 28 minutes. After Max Ehmer did well to block behind a Marshall cross for a corner, the resulting set piece was headed home by Hiwula. The game continued to ebb and flow with Josh Cullen seeing a low shot well saved by Bond.

Bradford nearly took the lead as the half drew to a close, as James Meredith got forward down the flank and drilled in a low cross, but neither Bond nor the onrushing forward were able to get anything on the ball and the Gills survived the scare in the 41st minute.

The visitors then wasted a dangerous free-kick following a foul from Deji Oshilaja, which saw him follow Jackson into the referee’s notepad. Twenty-five yards from goal, a rehearsed set piece saw Marshall break away from the ball, but he blazed over when the ball was fed to him.

H/T: 1 – 1

Gillingham started the second-half in a lively fashion, with Konchesky and Jackson seeing plenty of the ball down the flanks. However, Bradford had the first shot of the half, but Timothee Dieng blazed high and wide into the Town End with 51 minutes on the clock. Cullen soon after went close for the visitors, however his drive fizzed past Bond’s post with the keeper beaten.

Wagstaff came on for his Gillingham debut after 56 minutes to a rapturous reception, replacing Donnelly. Bradford immediately counter-attacked however, as Marshall ran into the area before wriggling enough room for a shot, but Bond was equal to his low attempt.

Gillingham came back at Bradford, as the introduction of summer signing Wagstaff seemed to lift the team. After 65 minutes, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas stung the palms of Stephen Darby with a fierce low shot from 25-yards as the Gills began to see more of the ball in midfield, before Byrne latched onto a knock-down but drove his low shot just wide.

Ehmer was so close to giving the Gills the lead after 70 minutes as a long throw into the box fell to the defender. However, a Bradford defender just managed to make a vital intervention, deflecting the shot over the bar as the goal beckoned.

A string of Bradford subs disrupted the momentum of the game, as both sides appeared reluctant to go all-out in search of a winner. Nonetheless, a series of corners and throw-ins to Gillingham deep in the Bradford half brought the Rainham End to life but the ball just refused to fall to an attacker in blue.

After 83 minutes Bradford nearly took the lead as substitute Mar McNulty got the better of Oshilaja, but Ehmer did superbly well to throw his body in the way of James Hanson’s powerful shot after the pull back.

The away side took this chance to gain the impetus and began to dominate possession as the game rushed towards a climax.

Deep into added time, Jackson saw red for pulling back McNulty; Graham Scott adjudged the right back had committed a foul and duly awarded him his second yellow card of the game. The resulting free-kick from 25 yards was blazed over by Nicky Law and Gillingham survived.

That was to be the final meaningful action of the game as both sides claimed a point in their respective League One campaigns.

F/T: 1 – 1

The Gills travel to Staffordshire next weekend, as they return to Sky Bet League One action against Port Vale at Vale Park.

Gillingham: Bond; Jackson, Ehmer, Oshilaja, Konchesky; Wright, Osadebe, Byrne; Emmanuel-Thomas (List, 86), McDonald (Pask, 94), Donnelly (Wagstaff, 57)
Unused subs: Nelson (GK), Oldaker, Hessenthaler, Knott

Bradford City: Doyle; Darby, Vincelot, Knight-Percival, Meredith; Cullen, Dieng, Law, Marshall (Morais, 75); Clarke (Hanson, 76), Hiwula (McNulty, 72)
Unused Subs: Sattelmaier (GK), Kilgallon, Vuckic, Devine

Attendance: 5,079 (377)
Referee: Graham Scott

POLICING COSTS DRAMATICALLY RISE AS REDS ATTENDANCES FALL

Policing costs for Crawley Town home matches nearly quadrupled last year, even though the Reds were relegated to League Two.

Figures released by Sussex Police show that the cost of policing matches at the Checkatrade.com Stadium dramatically increased, even though the number of arrests remained at zero and attendances dropped by 11 per cent.

The figures show a year-on-year rise from the 2011/12 season to the current campaign.

Stewarding costs inside grounds are paid for by football clubs, but the police presence in the areas surrounding the stadiums are covered by the police.

SEASON TOTAL COST TOTAL ARRESTS TOTAL ATTENDANCE AVG PER GAME
2011/12 £4,242.20 5 74,895 3,256
2012/13 £9,331.64 7 78,385 3,408
2013/14 £8,347.15 6 80,182 3,486
2014/15 £5,061.94 0 62,310 2,709
2015/16 £19,085.44 0 55,326 2,405
2016/17 £240.63 (as of 16/08/2016)

Figure 1: Policing costs for Crawley Town FC matches from 2011-2016.

Sussex Police say that the increase in price is due to the cost of policing matches being higher, as they look to have a third season in a row without a single arrest.

Said a spokesperson: “We have had zero arrests over the past two seasons, and this is down to hard work and planning from our matchday team.

“There have been several measures taken for the 2016/17 season to ensure that we have another arrest-free year. We have a great relationship with Crawley Town FC and the supporters, and we would like to thank them for their cooperation.”

Crawley Town refused to comment on the recent cost increase, but when asked about the factors contributing to zero arrests over the past couple of seasons, a club spokesperson said: “It is down to sensible policing and stewarding.

“We work hard as a club to maintain a fan-friendly environment at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.”

Crawley were one of four clubs out of the 92 in the top four tiers of English football to have no football-related arrests during the 2014/15 season, alongside Dagenham and Redbridge, MK Dons and Morecambe.

Nationally, the numbers of football-related arrests are falling. Across the country there were 1,873 arrests made during the season Crawley were relegated from League One, which was 400 (18 per cent) fewer than in 2013/14.

Last year, Labour’s Andrew Dismore called for London’s major football clubs to pay the Metropolitan Police’s £1.9million bill for policing Premier League matches in the capital during the 2013/14 season.

He argued that if the clubs can afford to pay players’ hundreds of thousands of pounds-a-week wages, then they should be able to cover policing costs. However, there is no legal right that the police can recover these costs from football clubs.

The club cost of policing football matches in the capital are decreasing year-on-year however, after Leeds United argued that the surrounding areas of Elland Road stadium were the police’s responsibility and that the club should not have to pay.

The High Court ruled in the club’s favour, and agreed that a football club was only responsible for policing within its ground or on its land.

A factor contributing to the decrease in top flight policing costs include the fact that there are more more CCTV cameras operating in football stadiums, plus improvements in thorough planning and organising from stewards working on behalf of the club.

Technological advances have played a key role in making football stadiums and surrounding streets a safer environment in recent years.

The past two seasons have been frustrating for Reds fans after being relegated from English football’s third tier on the final day of the 2014/15 season, and financial strain in their first campaign back in League Two; a time in which the club battled to keep their Football League status alive.

However, with new owners and under a new regime, a summer of ins and out, plus gaining seven out of nine points available at the start of the Sky Bet League Two season, many fans are optimistic that there are better days ahead at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.

A spokesperson for the League Two side insisted that the club has always had, and still has, an excellent relationship with Sussex Police.

SHREWSBURY 2-3 GILLINGHAM: MATCH REPORT

Gillingham came from 2-0 down at half-time to stun Shrewsbury at Greenhous Meadow on Saturday, as Max Ehmer’s stoppage time goal helped them to a historic 3-2 victory.

Louis Dodds scored twice for the hosts before the break, but two goals from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Ehmer’s last-gasp winner completed an unbelievable comeback for the Gills, who had never previously won at Town’s new stadium.

Manager Justin Edinburgh named Goalkeeper Jonathan Bond over Stuart Nelson in goal, following his loan move from Reading on Friday. Nelson had to settle for a place on the bench and Tom Hadler was not included in the match day squad.

The Gills had two half-chances in the opening three minutes, with Emmanuel-Thomas involved in both. The former Arsenal man played in Cody McDonald with just one minute played, but the Gills’ number 10 chose to cut inside the defender instead of shooting, and Shrewsbury managed to clear.

Emmanuel-Thomas’s run created the second chance. The striker picked up the ball on the left of the area and unleashed a shot that was deflected and rippled the net for the first corner of the game.

The big man looked in fine form and in the mood to add to his three goals he had scored for the Gills against Southend in the opening week of the season.

Although the quick-fire start the game started to settle, the partnership of Billy Knott and Paul Konchesky down the left nearly produced the opening goal of the game on 13 minutes. The latter played the former through, however Knott couldn’t provide the touch that would have beat the goalkeeper from an acute angle.

Salop took the lead against the run of play on 17 minutes. Dodds picked up the ball in the centre of the park and drove forward before shooting from 25-yards into the top right-hand corner. Bond, despite his best efforts, could do little to prevent the opener.

Dodds scored another to make it 2-0 with half-an-hour played, after another period of dominating possession from the away side. Junior Brown set up the goal scorer at the back-post and, although his first effort was blocked by Josh Pask, he made no mistake with the second, smashing the ball home.

There was an injury worry for Justin Edinburgh with 33 minutes played, after Pask clashed heads with Ian Black inside his own half. The 18-year-old left the field of play to be treated, however managed to come back on.

On 37 minutes, new signing Bond made his first save of the match, denying Ivan Toney. The striker’s header looked destined for the top corner, however the Reading loanee saved well, pushing the ball around the post for a corner.

Tuesday’s match winner against Watford, Bradley Dack, came off the bench to replace Pask on 39 minutes, with the defender sustaining a back injury shortly after his clash of heads.

Dodds should have had a hat-trick going into half-time, but Bond made another great save to deny the scorer. Toney set up Dodds with a cute cutback, who, from inside the six-yard box, should have scored, but Bond stood strong and smothered the ball to prevent any further danger.

The most promising attacking play from the Gills came with the half-time whistle imminent. Billy Knott danced inside the Shrews box and cut the ball back to Josh Wright, whose effort flew high into the stand under pressure from Town defenders.

H/T: 2-0

The Gills began the second half as they had played through most of the match – on the front foot. Two goals up, Salop let Edinburgh’s team have the ball and sat back, looking to break on the counter with Toney holding the ball up in attack and looking for runners off him.

Emmanuel Osadebe, playing as a right-sided wing-back, impressed throughout and at times looked like he wanted to take on the whole team as his side tried to get back in the game.

The Gills pulled a goal back with 59 minutes played through Emmanuel-Thomas. Unmarked, the striker glanced home at the back-post after an inch-perfect cross from Dack and immediately grabbed the ball and ran back to the half-way line to ensure the visitors could maintain the period of pressure.

And Gillingham drew level on 73 minutes with a goal of the season contender from Emmanuel-Thomas. The 25-year-old unleashed a shot from 30-yards that sailed through the air and into the top corner, to the delight of the travelling Gills fans who were sat behind Leutwiler’s goal.

After impressing in midweek against Watford, Darren Oldaker came on to replace Billy Knott with 12 minutes left, on the right side of the midfield diamond.

The Gills weren’t looking to settle for a point after coming from 2-0 down, and both teams were throwing everything to try and score a winner that would surely take all three points.

With one minute of normal time left the Gills felt they should have had a penalty. Man of the moment Emmanuel-Thomas knocked down a free-kick to Deji Oshilaja, who won the ball and was clattered by Leutwiler, but referee Darren Deadman waved play on.

Bond came to the Gills’ rescue once with two minutes into stoppage time. Leitch-Smith was one-on-one with the keeper following a brilliant chipped cross from Alex Riley but the goalkeeper got down low and made himself big to deny Salop from taking all three points at the death.

However, there was more drama to come. In the third minute of injury time Dack’s corner was met Emmanuel-Thomas, whose header fell to Max Ehmer. The defender’s shot bounced into the net via a deflection to earn the Gills a brilliant victory, and move them back up to sixth in Sky Bet League One.

The 10 outfield players ran to celebrate with Ehmer, in front of the travelling fans in the away end. There were boos all around the stadium coming from the home supporters, who knew the game was all but over; many headed for the exits.

F/T: 2-3

The Gills return to action at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday to face Luton Town in the Checkatrade Trophy. Tickets are just £5 for adults and concessions, and £1 for under-16s when booked in advance, as part of our Floodlight Football for the Family offer. Click here for more information.

Shrewsbury Town: Leutwiler, Riley, McGivern, Black (Sarcevic, 78), Ogogo, Toney, Dodds, Brown, Deegan, Mangan (Leitch-Smith, 69), El-Abd
Unused subs: Halstead, Lancashire, Choulay, Waring, Jones

Gillingham: Bond, Ehmer, Oshilaja, McDonald (Donnelly, 72), Knott (Oldaker, 78), Konchesky, Osadebe, Pask (Dack, 39), Byrne, Wright, Emmanuel-Thomas
Unused subs: Nelson, Hessenthaler, List, Dickenson

Referee: Darren Deadman
Attendance: 4,611 (221 away)

WATFORD 1-2 GILLINGHAM (AET): MATCH REPORT

Gillingham came from behind to beat Watford in the second round of the EFL Cup at Vicarage Road on Tuesday night thanks to goals from Mark Byrne and Bradley Dack.

Odion Ighalo opened the scoring for the Hornets, but Gillingham found an extra level to their performance and made sure they came back to win the game, capping a memorable night.

Justin Edinburgh made one change to the team that suffered defeat at Scunthorpe, with Cody McDonald partnering Jay Emmanuel-Thomas up front in place of Rory Donnelly. Gillingham lined up with a three man central defence and Emmanuel Osadebe and Paul Konchesky providing the width.

Watford were first to test the opposition goal but Stuart Nelson was equal to the effort. Watford broke and Troy Deeney forcefully side-footed the ball towards the goal, however Nelson was alert to push the ball to safety with 6 minutes gone.

Nelson made a brilliant save with 12 minutes gone as Matej Vydra slipped a neat ball back into the path of Ikechi Anya. The striker seemed to have time and space but the Gills stopper was quick off his line and smothered Anya’s shot, with the away defence side scrambling the ball clear.

Watford were well on top, looking particularly lively through Anya down the left hand side but Gillingham applied themselves to keep the Premier League opposition at bay.

The Gills had their first effort after 17 minutes off the second offensive wave of a corner-kick. Josh Wright headed the ball back into the box after the initial cross was cleared, but McDonald’s looping header cleared Costel Pantilimon’s bar.

Anya brought another fine save from Nelson after 31 minutes, playing a one-two with Deeney down the left hand side before cutting in and shooting. Nelson parried the ball to the edge of the area but Absoulaye Doucoure couldn’t control his shot which flew well wide of the goal.

Soon after Nelson again had to be at his best to deny Vydra an opener for Watford. Deeney looped a header over the Gills defence but Nelson came rushing out to take ball, attacker and Josh Pask and deny the home side.

A couple of corners had the Gills faithful in top voice but both were defended, before Adlene Guedioura fizzed a low shot wide of Nelson’s goal as Gillingham continued to keep the Hornets at arms length.

Allan Nyom got behind the back of the Gills defence as half-time approached, fizzing a low ball across the face of the goal but nobody could provide the necessary goal-scoring touch, as Watford attacked the full-backs with speed.

The away side though did carry a bite up front with Emmanuel-Thomas linking up play well. He had a couple of sighters blocked after 42 minutes, but eventually shot wide of Pantilimon’s goal, and the Gills saw the rest of the half out comfortably.

H/T: 0 – 0

Watford came out of the traps quickest in the second half, and Ben Watson blazed high and wide from Vydra’s lay off after 48 minutes, before Gills were lucky to survive a goalmouth scramble. However, yet again no Watford player could force the ball into the net, as Anya whipped a dangerous ball into the 6-yard box.

The game was playing out nicely as Gillingham looked to get forward at any opportunity, Emmanuel-Thomas shooting wide after Konchesky crossed dangerously into the home penalty area.

Watford took the lead after 58 minutes through their new substitute Odion Ighalo. Deeney played a great ball over the defence into the path of Ighalo who took the ball down before being tackled by a combination of goalkeeper and defender, however the ball broke loose to the frontman who passed into a an empty net.

Watford nearly extended their lead after 65 minutes as Ighalo was slipped in down the right hand side by Vydra. Ighalo had time and space but Deji Oshilaja got back to make an outstanding block. From the corner Tommie Hoban powered a header which was outstandingly kept out by Nelson, and Max Ehmer hacked off the line into the bar and away.

Gillingham won a penalty after 70 mins as two new substitutes combined down the left; Bradley Dack played Elliot List down the left hand side of the box and Elliot List showed fantastic pace to nip onto the ball and was fouled by Nyom. Dack took the penalty but blazed the ball over the bar with Pantilimon well beaten.

The Gills seemed to be buoyed by that and were looking lively on the counter with pace, however Nelson had to pull off yet another brilliant save to keep Deeney out after 75 mins.

Gillingham were beginning to look dangerous, frustrating the home side, and Mark Byrne had a shot well blocked behind from 25 yards and the corner was cleared on 78 minutes.

Cody McDonald went close again, turning Hoban inside out but the centre back recovered well to make the block as the Gills looked to get back on level terms.

Mark Byrne scored the equaliser that the Gills deserved with a blinding left-foot shot. Gillingham’s number 33 got off the mark for the club in superb fashion, taking a ball down before cutting inside his man and curling past the Watford goalkeeper with 83 minutes on the clock.

Byrne continued to threaten the Watford goal, breaking through a few tackles but shooting over; Gillingham looked like they had their Premier League counterparts rattled. Osadebe was next to test Pantilimon driving in a right-footed shot when left with too much space down the right hand flank.

Gillingham were defending valiantly with every single player putting in a shift, still closing down the Hornets inside their own half and looking to counter, and kept the home side at bay to take the tie into extra time, despite a last-gasp (albeit offside) attempt from Deeney.

F/T: 1 – 1

Watford started the second half of extra time well, with Oshilaja struggling with a leg injury and Ighalo immediately shot just wide of Nelson’s post.

Substitute Camilo Zuniga was next to go close for the Hornets but he also dragged his shot wide of the goal, after cutting from the left flank after 99 minutes.

Gillingham went ahead through Bradley Dack after 102 minutes after a great team move from the away side. Darren Oldaker played in Osadebe in down the right, who did fantastically to hold off his man, before playing a low ball into the box which Dack just finished off, via the upright.

The Gills midfielder took a whack from the post for his troubles and the referee had to consult his watch before eventually gave the goal and sent the away end into raptures.

Gills saw out the remainder of the half, with Vicarage Road booing the team off at the interval.

ET H/T: 1 – 2

Watford again threatened instantly from the break as Zuniga hung a teasing ball into the box but Ighalo could only head over the bar, as Gillingham stood firm.

Gillingham were, for the first time, looking tired and Watford were camped in their half but the Gills were defending were heroically as first Oldaker then Ehmer made crucial blocks to preserve the lead.

Nelson, as ever throughout the game, did fantastically well to punch off Watson’s head to clear the danger as the ball rocketed around the Gills box after 111 minutes following a dangerous Watford corner.

The home side were throwing the kitchen sink at Gills, but the defence withstood the long balls targeting Deeney.
Byrne took a yellow for the team to break up play as the Gills players used every ounce of available energy to halt the efforts of Watford. McDonald up the other end held the ball up and drew the foul right in front of the Gills fans to their delight.

One final lung-bursting run from Byrne saw the referee blow up for a famous win for Gillingham, who enter the draw for the third round.

ET F/T: 1 – 2

The Gills travel to Shrewsbury on Saturday looking to get back to winning ways in Sky Bet League One.

Watford: Pantilimon; Nyom, Hoban, Kabasele; Paredes, Guedioura (Ighalo, 56), Watson, Doucoure, Anya (Zuniga, 94); Deeney (c), Vydra (Capoue, 66)
Unused subs: Gomes, Kaboul, Sinclair, Holebas

Gillingham: Nelson; Oshilaja, Ehmer, Pask, Konchesky (List, 66); Wright (c) (Oldaker, 74), Osadebe, Byrne, Knott; McDonald, Emmanuel-Thomas (Dack, 66)
Unused subs: Hadler, Dickenson, Hessenthaler, Donnelly

Attendance: 7,004 (849)

Referee: James Linington

SCUNTHORPE 5-0 GILLINGHAM: MATCH REPORT

The Gills suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday, losing 5-0 away to Scunthorpe United on a rainy afternoon at Glanford Park.

Kevin van Veen, Josh Morris (two), Jordan Clarke and Tom Hopper scored for the hosts, and the result means that the Justin Edinburgh’s side slip down to tenth in the Sky Bet League One table.

Rory Donnelly started in place of Cody McDonald after his second-half equaliser at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday evening. Josh Pask moved to right-back with Ryan Jackson out injured, and Deji Oshilaja returned to the starting XI after being on the bench midweek.

United took an early lead on five minutes. Van Veen picked up the ball by the centre-circle, drove a few yards before unleashing a speculative effort that caught Stuart Nelson out and ended up in the net.

The Iron nearly doubled their lead on 12 minutes. Duane Holmes bombed down the right-wing before finding Morris on the edge of the box. The left-midfielder took a touch before shooting, but his effort crashed against the advertising boards behind the goal.

Scunthorpe remained on top for the majority of the half, and hit the bar just a minute after Morris’ effort. Van Veen’s bending free-kick was met by the head of Holmes, but Nelson was in the right position to tip the ball on to the bar and out for a corner.

The only shot the Gills had in the opening stages came on 15 minutes from Josh Wright. The captain struck from 25-yards but Luke Daniels held on well to deny the midfielder on his return to his former club.

Matters got worse with just 20 minutes played. Wright fouled Morris in the box and referee David Webb pointed to the penalty spot. The felled player stepped up to take the spot-kick, and converted into the top-left corner to make it 2-0.

Oshilaja had a half-chance from a Mark Byrne corner on 23 minutes, but the defender couldn’t hit the target to get off the mark for the season. It was the closest the Gills had been to scoring in the opening quarter.

As the half wore on the intensity died down, and most of the possession was being played in the middle of the park.

On 37 minutes Oshilaja rushed forward and played the ball to Byrne, before receiving it back off the midfielder in the penalty box. The Cardiff City loanee managed to get a powerful shot away, however Daniels was equal to the effort and parried the ball for a corner.

Clarke was next to get on the scoresheet for the home side on the stroke of half-time. The defender headed home, unmarked, from a Morris corner two minutes into stoppage time.

H/T: 3-0

The second-half began slowly and the wind was now going against the Gills, meaning that goal-kicks and clearances were struggling to make it over the halfway line.

The Gills defence were in trouble on 53 minutes, as Oshilaja played the ball straight to van Veen for a two-on-two situation. The Gills number six recovered, however, and stopped any danger by clearing the ball up the field.

Emmanuel-Thomas took a snapshot from inside the area on 53 minutes, which caught out the Scunthorpe defence, but his shot flew narrowly wide of the net.

With 60 minutes played, Scunthorpe made it 4-0. Morris’ bobbling shot from 20-yards slipped under Nelson’s fingers to to the delight of the home crowd behind the goal.

Clarke struck a shot from 35-yards on 62 minutes, which dipped in the air and was destined Nelson’s far corner, however the stopper got down low to his right to beat the ball away.

On 65 minutes Elliott List and Cody McDonald came on to replace Donnelly and Billy Knott with the Gills having no option but to try and attack.

List nearly made an immediate impact, sprinting down the right-wing and delivering a cross to Emmanuel-Thomas, but the striker’s header didn’t have enough to trouble Daniels.

Edinburgh brought on Darren Oldaker for his professional debut to replace Emmanuel Osadebe to add a fresh pair of legs, but the Gills couldn’t find enough going forward to pull anything back.

Hakeeb Adelakun was causing the Gills problems when he had the ball at his feet, and had an assist to his name with eight minutes remaining of normal time. The winger skipped past the Gills defence and got to the by-line, where he fired the ball back across goal, putting it on a plate for Hopper to score from one yard.

Emmanuel-Thomas had a stinging shot denied minutes later, but once again Daniels was equal to the effort.

In the dying seconds, Nelson denied Scott Laird from the penalty spot after List fouled Townsend in the area.

F/T: 5-0

The Gills travel to Watford in Tuesday’s EFL Cup second round tie, before another Sky Bet League One away game against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, August 27.

Scunthorpe: Daniels, Wallace, Mirfin, Dawson, van Veen, Morris (Laird, 83), Bishop, Hopper, Holmes (Adelakun, 32), Townsend, Clarke
Unused subs: Anyon, Wiseman, King, Goode, Wootton

Gillingham: Nelson, Pask, Oshilaja, Ehmer, Konchesky, Wright, Byrne, Knott (List, 65), Osadebe (Oldaker, 75), Donnelly (McDonald, 65), Emmanuel-Thomas
Unused subs: Hadler, Hessenthaler, Dack, Dickenson

Attendance: 3,718
Referee: David Webb