Gillingham’s heroic keeper left stranded by his team-mates at Colchester United

Stuart Nelson

Stuart Nelson - Credit: Simon Stacpoole / Offside

Gillingham goalkeeper, Stuart Nelson, the man who played the chief role in booting Colchester United out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, was left stranded at the Community Stadium last night.

Gills veteran Nelson saved two penalties – those of George Moncur and Tom Eastman – before stepping up to score the winning spot kick himself in a 4-2 victory in last night’s penalty shoot-out. The game had ended in a 3-3 draw after 90 minutes.

It was the perfect way for Nelson to celebrate his 100th game for the Kent club.

It was also the 33-year-old’s comeback game from injury. His last appearance had been the opening day of the season fixture against MK Dons, when he had damaged thumb ligaments.

But the gloss was taken off Nelson’s big night, when the Gills team-coach left without him!

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Perhaps they had got used to him not being on the coach, due to his recent absence through injury? Certainly, by the time he had finished all of his post-match interviews, his team-mates were already well down the A12, travelling in the direction of the Dartford crossing!

Instead, he had to hitch a lift home with a local Gillingham reporter and photographer from the Kent Messenger.

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