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Monday, 1 April, 2002, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Gillingham 1-0 Crewe
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Shaun Smith's penalty miss proved costly for Crewe who slipped back into the relegation places after crashing to defeat at Gillingham.

Marlon King's 20th goal of the season for Gillingham with the final kick of the first-half increased Crewe's anxieties.

Victories for Barnsley and Walsall leave Dario Gradi's side in serious danger of being plunged into Division Two.

King calmly slotted home a penalty after Efe Sodje fouled Paul Smith, but nothing went right for the Railwaymen as Smith missed his spot-kick.

Despite having little to play for, Gillingham started brightly with Iffy Onuora heading David Perpetuini's cross wide after just two minutes.

Nerve failed

Crewe's response saw Kenny Lunt shoot just wide three minutes later.

Gradi's side, who have now failed to win in their last seven games, created another opportunity after 21 minutes when Rob Hulse tested Jason Brown with a header.

But they almost went behind just after the half-hour when Simon Osborn fired a shot just wide from 20 yards.

Crewe fell behind on the stroke of half time when Nigerian defender Sodje bundled Smith over in the area and King placed the penalty into the bottom corner.

Sodje had a chance to redeem himself three minutes after the interval but he shot wide from six yards.

Crewe came within a whisker of levelling just after the hour when Hulse hit the woodwork with a header from Smith's cross.

Crewe had a great chance to draw level with 24 minutes left when Marcus Browning hauled Gareth Whalley down.

But Smith failed to hold his nerve and blasted his spot-kick high and wide.

Gillingham: Brown, Nosworthy, Butters, Hope, Perpetuini, Saunders, Osborn, Smith, King, Shaw, Onuora. Subs: Bartram, Ipoua, Gooden, Browning, James.

Crewe: Bankole, Smith, Macauley, Sodje, Foster, Lunt, Whalley, Rix, Vaughan, Street, Hulse. Subs: Ince, Walker, Charnock, Jones, Sorvel.

Referee: B Curson (Walsall).

Links to more Eng Div 1 stories are at the foot of the page.


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