Richard Day reports from Stonebridge Road
Two goals from Danny Kedwell and one from Ben Strevens saw the Gills to a narrow win over their Blue Square Premier neighbours at Stonebridge Road. Manager Martin Allen used just 14 players in a game that looked another useful performance as the Gills gear themselves towards the August 14 Capital One Cup tie at Bristol City.
Fourth Official: John Hopkins
Assistants: Gary Maskell & Nigel Bond
Referee: Barry Holderness
Subs: Forecast, Evans, Frampton, Hare, Essam, Brown, , Montrose, Humber
- Nelson, Fish (Allen 61), Martin, Payne, Davies, Bernard, Dack (Jackman 79), Lee, Kedwell, Strevens (Birchall 86), Whelpdale Gills
Subs: , Greenhalgh, McNeill, Wilson, Secq, Akinde
- Edwards, Stone (Folkes 79), Howe (Blake 57), Barrett, Walsh, Ada, Enver-Marum (Azeez 79), Bellamy, Elder (Williams 88), Ashikodi, Phipp.
The home side added a second goal in the 88th minute, Lee was caught on the ball in midfield by Liam Bellamy and he sent Ashikodi through to chip the ball over the stranded Nelson.
Adam Birchall was given a five minute run-out at the end, he took over from Strevens.
Kedwell had chances to complete a hat-trick but he found the side netting with one strike before putting a header across the face of goal.
After Dack put a neat ball through for Strevens, only for Edwards to get out quickly and block, the Gills second change was made with Danny Jackman replacing Dack.
Ebbsfleet were left rueing their luck once again in the 73rd minute when Enver-Marum laid the ball off for Barrett to strike, the ball beat Nelson but struck the same post as hit earlier.
A great move saw the Gills regain their two goal advantage in the 70th minute, Bradley Dack knocked the ball over the top for Martin and his low cross from the left was met by Kedwell who touched the ball past Edwards into the far corner.
The home side went close again moments later when the ball fell invitingly for Neil Barrett but Nelson was in the right place to block.
On 63 minutes a good ball forward from Phil Walsh sent Ashikodi down the left but former Gills trialist Enver-Marum headed wide.
Martin Allen made his first change of the afternoon in the 61st minute, Charlie Allen replacing Fish, Whelpdale moved to right-back.
The Gills had a let-off almost straight away when Liam Enver-Marum saw a low strike beat the keeper but the ball bounced back off of Nelson's right-hand post.
Liam Daish's side pulled a goal back in the 51st minute, Fish failed to cut out a through ball allowing Ashikodi to clip the ball past Nelson.
Ebbsfleet's first chance of the game came in the 39th minute, Joe Howe's left-wing cross was headed goalwards by ex-Gill loanee Moses Ashikodi but it hardly troubled Stuart Nelson.
Lee was denied again by Edwards in the 36th minute, Fish played the midfielder through the middle but his delicate chip was clawed away by the keeper.
There was another chance almost immediately, Martin again making the initial break before Kedwell knocked in a ball from the right and Lee saw a downward header brilliantly turned aside by Edwards.
It was 2-0 in the 29th minute. A neat move down the left saw Kedwell send Joe Martin clear, his cross allowed Whelpdale to send a shot across the face of goal where Ben Strevens was able to turn the ball home with his body.
A good ball over the top by Fish looked to put Whelpdale clear but a defender got back well to get in a last ditch challenge as the winger prepared to shoot.
The Gills played at a quick tempo and created another chance with 18 minutes on the clock. Matt Fish, Jack Payne and Chris Whelpdale combined down the right and when the latter crossed it was Kedwell who put another header just wide.
Gillingham took the lead in the fourth minute when Charlie Lee found Danny Kedwell at the near post with a long throw and the centre-forward glanced a header beyond Preston Edwards.
With Dean Morgan and Ryan Gilligan departing the club on Friday, the only unfamiliar face in the starting line-up was trialist centre-half Bernard Onanga Itoua, whose past clubs include Auxerre and Bulgarian side Litex Lovech.