Gillingham 1 Darlington 0

Last updated : 10 March 2009 By Footymad Previewer
Simeon Jackson held his nerve to convert an injury time penalty which kept Gillingham's promotion push on track against a fading Darlington.

The goal came just two minutes after the Canadian striker missed the chance of the game, but he was given an opportunity to make amends after Alan White's handball.

The victory was Gillingham's fourth in five games and it moved Mark Stimson's side to within striking range of the automatic promotion places with several of their rivals dropping points.

The home side enjoyed the best of a lively but goalless first half, although clear-cut chances were at a premium.

Their best chance came from a training ground routine on 15 minutes when Nicky Southall disguised his free kick, cutting the ball back for Jackson, whose shot was deflected over.

Darlington were on the back foot for long spells, but carried a goal threat when they got forward. Ryan Valentine stung Simon Royce's palms from 20 yards, while Adam Griffin and Jason Kennedy shot wide when well placed.

After the break the Quakers looked increasingly happy to settle for a point, handing over the initiative.

There was pandemonium on 53 minutes when Mark McCammon's tidy finish was disallowed, with the referee awarding Gills a free-kick for a foul in the build-up.

The decision looked very costly as Darlington were able to soak up the pressure, allowing few chances.

Substitute Andy Barcham, back from a knee injury, provided added impetus and he set up a glorious chance for Jackson in the 88th minute.

The former Spurs forward did superbly to cut in from the right and pull the ball back to the Canadian, who missed his kick from eight yards.

It looked an expensive miss but White's indiscretion offered him redemption, which he gratefully accepted for his 16th goal of the season.