Richard Day reports from Longmead StadiumBradley Dack and Nathan Nyafli were both on target as a Gillingham XI won last night’s friendly against Tonbridge Angels at Longmead Stadium.
The game, played in what appeared to be half-light due to floodlight problems, was used to give a number of first-team squad members some game time while goalkeeper Ross Flitney made his first appearance between the sticks since January, he played the final 20 minutes.
Development and youth players made up the rest of the squad and it gave Gills boss Martin Allen an opportunity to watch them in match action.
It looked to be a useful workout for both sides, Blue Square South boss Tommy Warrilow gave a number of his fringe players a run out, and although not a full-blooded encounter, referee Ian Cooper still needed words with Callum Davies, Mahlon Romeo and Frankie Raymond after some heavy challenges.
Jakob Hessenthaler saw two efforts blocked, the usually clinical Bradley Dack curled a shot just over, Lewis Montrose saw a long range strike deflected to the keeper and Tom Brunt fired over before the first goal came in the 36th minute.
Good pressure from Dack forced an error from Charlie Slocombe and enabled the Gills midfielder to run onto his poor back-pass and drill home a shot under Scott Chalmers-Stevens.
Brunt then had another shot blocked and George Humber was inches away from adding a second before the home side finally threatened.
Keeper Forecast had been little more than a spectator until the closing stages of the half when former Peterborough United winger Nathan Koranteng twice went close.
Gillingham, who made four changes at the break, continued to create chances, Brunt ran onto a neat Montrose pass and cracked a shot inches over the top and then Davies was unable to score from close range following a goalmouth scramble.
At the other end Angels best player, Ross Treleaven, chased a through ball that Forecast just managed to whip off his toes and then the forward did beat the keeper with a decent rising strike but the ball clipped the bar.
Moments after Ben Strevens had headed narrowly wide from a Frankie Raymond corner, Mark Patterson made the remaining seven changes with 71 minutes on the clock and there were some excellent touches from the likes of Alfie Coates and Aaron Millbank, both playing out of position, Kane Haysman and Charlie Webster.
A long throw from Sam Muggleton saw Haysman denied by a far post block but the second goal arrived with a minute remaining.
Millbank found Haysman with a great ball forward and he broke into the area before setting up Nathan Nyafli to smack a first time strike beyond Tonbridge’s substitute keeper.
Gills – Forecast (Flitney 71), Romeo (Coates 71), Carter (Muggleton 71), Montrose (Haysman 71), Freiter (Lee H/T), Davies (Maughan 71), Hessenthaler (Raymond H/T), Dack (Miller 71), Strevens (Millbank 71), Humber (Nyafli 71), Brunt (Webster) Unused sub: O’Neill