Gills return to League One

Last updated : 26 May 2009 By Jacob Daniel
An injury time header by Canadian Simeon Jackson was enough to ensure Gillingham returned to League One at the first time of asking in a hard fought League Two play-off final at Wembley against Shrewsbury Town. Having been beaten 7-0 by the Shrews earlier in the season, Mark Stimson's side had a point to prove and deserved their win, which was sealed when Jackson headed in from close range as extra time loomed.Simeon Jackson

Neither team managed a shot on target in a nervy opening half hour, before Gillingham took the initiative and began to test semi-final hero Luke Daniels, with John Nutter forcing him into a smart save. By the half time whistle Gillingham were in control, and Shrewsbury had mustered only one shot in the first forty five minutes, an off target Ben Davies effort.

The second period continued in much the same way, with former Spurs trainee Andy Barcham teasing the Shrews defence with his direct running before forcing a fine reflex save out of Daniels. Davies, who always seemed the Shrews' biggest threat, pounced on indecision in the Gills defence to force Simon Royce into a smart save, but Gillingham remained the biggest threat throughout the second half until Kevin McIntyre found himself unmarked in the six yard box, only to inexplicably head the ball past the post when he should've given Shrewsbury the lead.

One of few Gillingham players to have a quiet afternoon was Simeon Jackson, the division's joint leading goalscorer, but he struck only a minute from the end. Gillingham won a controversial corner, with Darren Moss appearing to play the ball onto Barcham rather than the other way round. However, Josh Wright swung the corner over and the unmarked Jackson nodded the ball home to send the 30,000 travelling Gills delirious and ensure a return to League One at the first attempt, leaving the Shrews to contemplate life after a second play-off final defeat in three years.

To see the updated L2 map 09/10, visit