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Gillingham 5 - Swindon Town 0
SIMEON Jackson struck a second half hat-trick as Town slumped to a woeful 5-0 defeat away at Gillingham in their opening game of the new 2009/10 season.
A first half Mark Bentley strike gave the Gills a lead they would never look like surrendering, and Jackson and Adam Miller extended the advantage after the break.
With time running out the hosts weren't finished as Jackson grabbed two in three minutes to complete his treble.
Swindon looked dangerous from set pieces but, that aside, were toothless in attack and need a massive improvement before Tuesday's Carling Cup clash at MK Dons.
Here are the key moments from today's game:
Seven mins: Kevin Amankwaah's determined run down the right flank forces a corner. Anthony McNamee swings the set piece into the danger zone but Lescinel Jean-Francois can only loop his header wide.
12 mins (GOAL 1-0 Bentley): John Nutter's diagonal ball from the left sets Simeon Jackson away down the opposite flank.
He easily beats Jean-Francois, breaks into the box, draws Swindon keeper David Lucas off his line and then squares to Mark Bentley for a simple tap in from eight yards. 14 mins: Nutter's whips in a free-kick from the right but Barry Fuller can only glance his header wide at the far post.
20 mins: Sean Morrison's long throw isn't dealt with by the Gillingham defence and Jonathan Douglas's volley back in is blocked.
The ball rebounds to Alan O'Brien but his snap-shot effort is also stopped by the Gills rearguard.
21 mins: From the resulting corner, Jean-Francois heads goalwards is cleared off the line with Billy Paynter waiting to pounce.
25 mins: O'Brien feeds McNamee just outside the area, and the forward forces his way into the area before driving a low effort across the face of goal which a defender has to get rid of from under his own crossbar.
30 mins: Jackson cuts in from the right and unleashes a low effort which just goes the wrong side of the upright.
35 mins: Another McNamee corner causes problems for the home defence. This time Morrison rises highest, but can only nod wide.
43 mins: Jackson receives the ball around 20 yards out, sets himself up and then unleashes a rising drive but it is straight down the throat of Lucas, who saves easily.
49 mins: Kevin Amankwaah strolls through a couple of challenges and feeds McNamee in a central position. He pulls the trigger but his low effort bounces just wide of Alan Julian's goal.
51 mins (GOAL 2-0 Jackson): Gillingham double their advantage with their first attack of the second half. Nutter is the architect again, as his pass intercepts Town's defence.
Jackson beats Morrison to the ball, strides forward and fires past the helpless Lucas.
72 mins (GOAL 3-0 Miller): It's turning into a nightmare afternoon for Town. After giving away a sloppy free-kick, Nutter flights in the resulting delivery and Adam Miller is afforded a free leap to loop home a header from eight yards.
75 mins: A half-clearance drops to Bentley on the right edge of the area and the Gillingham man fires in a thunderous volley, which Lucas does superbly to turn over one-handed.
80 mins: A rare Swindon chance in the second half. McNamee's free-kick from the right is met by Morrison but his header flies off target.
85 mins (GOAL 4-0 Jackson): A brilliant strike from Jackson puts the icing on the cake for Gilingham. Having received the ball on the edge of the area, the front man nutmegs Morrison before giving Lucas no chance with a powerful finish.
88 mins (GOAL 5-0 Jackson): Town have been taken to the cleaners. Jackson latches on to a loose ball in the box, turns and fires in an effort which bounces past the despairing grasp of Lucas.
GILLINGHAM (4-5-1): Alan Julian; Barry Fuler (captain), Garry Richards, Josh Gowling, John Nutter; Mark Bentley, Adam Miller, Curtis Weston, Jack Payne (Rashid Yussuff 87), Andy Barcham; Simeon Jackson (Mark McCammon 90)
Subs not used: Simon Royce, Chris Palmer, Tom Wynter, Luke Rooney, Jacob Erskine
TOWN (4-4-1-1): David Lucas; Scott Cuthbert (Lloyd Macklin 55), Sean Morrison, Gordon Greer (captain), Lescinel Jean-Francois; Kevin Amankwaah, Jonathan Douglas, Michael Timlin, Alan O'Brien (Mark Marshall 65); Anthony McNamee; Billy Paynter
Subs not used: Phil Smith, Jerel Ifil, Callum Kennedy, Craig Easton, Jon-Paul McGovern