The visitors had much the better of the opening few minutes and Danny Hollands had the first chance but his shot was high, wide and not very handsome. Connell and Hollands again both had further chances as the Gills defence looked as though they had only just met.
Gillingham's first attempt on goal came from a corner after 20 minutes when Shwan Jalal was forced into a good diving save by Bentley's header.
On the half-hour Sammy Igoe pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury to be replaced by the speedy Liam Feeney who got in some good positions but often disappointed with his final ball.
Half chances for Molesley and Connell followed without success as the first half drew to a close.
For once the Cherries came out in the second half like they'd had Red Bull and not Horlicks for their half time refreshment and within the first minute Marvin Bartley had a chance which he hit straight at Royce in the Gills goal.
A double substitution from the home side seemed to liven them up and on 58 minutes they got the breakthrough. Anton Robinson was beaten too easily by Barcham and, as Jalal came charging out, the ball was squared to Southall who slammed it home.
The game then degenerated into a series of niggling challenges and play acting as young Mr Cook totally lost control of proceedings. Fletch fell foul of a new rule the ref had invented which says you aren't allowed to jump for the ball and at one point it looked like he was going to be sent off when his marker tried to con the ref into believing he had been elbowed.
Feeney fell victim to his ineffective crossing when the sub was subbed by Jeff Goulding but the Gills main aim by this time seemed to be to waste as much time as possible by rolling around with fictitious injuries.
Bartley had a chance to get us back into it with 5 minutes to go but blasted well over the bar.
We then saw the long awaited (NOT!) return of assistant manager Jason Tindall to the pitch and, 'to be fair to the lad' he did make a instant impression in a cameo appearance as a makeshift striker.
The referee then totally lost the plot in the last couple of minutes, booking Fletcher, Tindall and Robinson, the latter for a perfectly timed tackle on the touchline!
At least the final whistle came before any of the Cherries players could really lose their rag and do something they might regret but it was noticeable that Tindall totally blanked the referee in the post match handshakes.
All in all it was a very frustrating afternoon in which the ref had far too big an influence. I hope he'll be back at school on Monday.
AFCB: Jalal, Robinson, Pearce, Garry, Cummings, Molesley, Hollands, Igoe, Bartley, Connell, Fletcher
Subs: Pryce, Partington, Feeney (for Igoe, 31 mins), Goulding (for Feebey, 70 mins), Tindall (for Bartley, 85 mins)
Clive Loader, Wimbledon