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Saturday, 17 August, 2002, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Gillingham 1-0 Millwall

Gillingham preserved their 100% start to the season to remain on top of the First Division table.

In-form marksman Guy Ipoua grabbed the only goal of the game with his third strike in as many games.

The visitors came out of the traps quickest and Gills goalkeeper Jason Brown was called into action after just 30 seconds when he blocked Paul Ifill's close-range effort.

Gills boss Andy Hessenthaler chose to stick with his new strike partnership of Ipoua and Mamady Sidibe despite having Tommy Johnson available and the duo caused problems throughout.

Sidibe had the first chance for the home side but he smashed his volley wide from the edge of the penalty box.

Gills duo impress

Minutes later Ipoua went close but he lashed his shot over from 25 yards.

During an action-packed opening to the game, the play constantly switched from end to end with both sides having good chances.

Millwall are still without a goal this season and manager Mark McGhee made the bold decision of starting with 18-year-old striker Ben May after his impressive league debut against Watford.

The gamble nearly paid off after 12 minutes but the teenage striker's long-range effort flew wide.

The Gills nearly broke the deadlock after 18 minutes when Andy Hessenthaler's short corner found Barry Ashby on the edge of the box, but his well-hit strike was spectacularly tipped around the post by Tony Warner.

Following a frantic opening, the game began to settle as both sides caught their breath.

Ipoua went close again in the 33rd minute but his left-footed strike brought an impressive block save from Warner.

After the interval the Gills grew in confidence, with Hessenthaler's delivery from set-pieces causing all kinds of problems for the visitors.

The Gills player-manager's decision to persist with his strike duo finally paid off on the hour mark.

Sidibe found Ipoua in space on the edge of the six-yard box and the striker made no mistake with his finish.

After 67 minutes the Millwall boss decided to replace youth with experience as Steve Claridge replaced the tiring May.

But the Lions, still searching for their first win of the season, could find no way past the Gills solid back four.


Gillingham: Brown, Nosworthy, Ashby, Hope, Edge, Hessenthaler, Smith, Osborn, Shaw, Ipoua, Sidibe. Subs: Bartram, Butters, Saunders, James, Johnson.

Millwall: Warner, Lawrence, Nethercott, Ward, Roberts, Ifill, Cahill, Livermore, Bull, May, Harris. Subs: Gueret, Ryan, Tuttle, Sweeney, Claridge.

Referee: R Beeby (Northamptonshire).

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's John Driscoll
"This was hard fought"
Gills' boss Andy Hessenthaler
"It wasn't a classic"

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