Antonio German brace enough to defeat Oxford at Priestfield

Two goals from Antonio German were enough to overcome Oxford United 2-0 in a development friendly at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

The striker got his first from the penalty spot before claiming a second after a good finish from just inside the box.

The visitors had plenty of chances themselves, but George Howard did enough to keep a much deserved clean sheet after a thoroughly professional team performance.

Kent Senior Cup against Erith & Belvedere.Mark Patterson picked Callum Davies and Devante McKain to partner each other in the centre of defence, as he did last week in the first round of the

Josh Hare played in the holding midfield role with Kane Haysman getting his chance to impress, with Ashley Miller joining German up front.

, started at right-back.opening day of the seasonStephen Butcher, who made his debut for the first team against Colchester on the

The game started in competitive fashion with both sides looking to dominate possession in the middle of the park.

The first 20 minutes proved to be a very even encounter with neither side able to dominate proceedings.

minute when Josh Shama was played in on the right hand side, he got the ball past George Howard but couldn’t beat the post.thAs a result the first real chance wasn’t created until the 25

However the forward had made his run too early and so the offside flag ruled out his effort anyway.

Gills had the best opportunity of the half after 30 minutes when German’s shot was well blocked by Kenza Lee.

The loose ball made its way in to the path of the advancing Joe Carter, but his powerful effort cleared the cross bar by a couple of yards.

The hosts looked the more threatening as the half came to a close. However Shama should have given Oxford the lead prior to the interval after a fantastic through ball on the left hand side.

Howard came out to narrow the angle as the striker prepared to pull the trigger, but Joe Carter sprinted back and just did enough to put off the striker who consequently put his shot in to the side netting.

H/T/: 0-0

With 50 minutes on the clock Shama had yet another opportunity to score the opener. A neat short ball inside the box found the forward in plenty of space, and with just Howard to beat he went for power rather than accuracy and missed the target.

Butcher very nearly made the striker pay for his missed chance. Miller’s near post corner was flicked on by the full back, and his glancing header went inches wide of the far post with the opposition keeper rooted to the spot.

One minute shy of the hour mark and the Gills took the lead. Jack Parter played in Haysman on the 18-yard line following a quickly taken corner by Miller.

Haysman had an initial shot blocked before his second struck the arm of Bevans inside the box and the referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot.

German stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to put the hosts in front. Callum Davies, from all of 30 yards, attempted to double the advantage a few minutes later, but his ambitious effort cleared the upright.

Moments later United failed to take advantage of some good play in the final third. Myles Hippolyte played a delicate cross to the far post, but Shama failed to connect with any power and Howard collected with ease.

That proved costly as on 68 minutes the Gills went two up. German managed to fend off challenges from either side following a neat pass from Butcher, and the striker made no mistake as he wrong footed the keeper.

Mark Patterson took the chance to make two further changes, with Josh Staunton and Jack Parter having already come on, with Aiden Blanchard and Nathan Nyafli replacing Joe Carter and Mahlon Romeo.

Another chance from Shama went begging before Nyafli struck just over the bar on 76 minutes at the near post with Butcher’s cross very nearly giving the substitute striker a quick fire goal.

Haysman had a half chance to add his name to the score sheet before the end, but he failed to connect with the ball on the volley and watched it go wide. Tom Gowans replaced Howard four minutes from time as he got some match experience under his belt.

F/T: 2-0

Gills: Howard (Gowans 86), Butcher, Carter (Blanchard 70) ,McKain (Staunton 52), Davies, Hare, Romeo (Nyafli 70), Haysman, Grant (Parter 50), German, Miller.