Charlie Sheringham's late strike inflicts defeat on Gills in final pre-season friendly at Stonebridge RoadCharlie Sheringham came off the bench to score the winner for Ebbsfleet in a 1-0 win at Stonebridge Road on Saturday.
The game seemed destined to finish 0-0 with neither side having many chances to score – Bradley Dack having the best chance for Gillingham which was well saved by Preston Edwards.
Fleet enjoyed good possession for long spells during the game and got their goal on 85 minutes. Dack was forced into an error as he looked to pass the ball back to sub keeper Glenn Morris, Sheringham was played in and didn’t need a second chance to convert beyond the Gills number 12.
Peter Taylor, as predicted, played two 45 minute sides with Adam Barrett returning to Captain the team in the first half with Devante McKain and Callum Davies teaming up in centre of midfield with Jermaine McGlashan and Brennan Dickenson on the wings.
Gary Borrowdale started at left back with Stuart Nelson in goal.
Ebbsfleet had more of the possession in the opening stages with Aiden Palmer just a yard short of connecting to a floated cross by Daryl McMahon, before Tommy Fraser saw his 30 yard effort go well wide of the post.
On nine minutes Fleet used the left wing to good effect when Michael Corcoran delivered a teasing ball to back stick and Alex Osborn attempted to hook it back for an oncoming striker but Davies recovered and cleared the danger.
Gills responded well and created their first half chance a minute or so later. McGlashan drilled a shot from just outside the box on the right hand side, his effort was going wide but Cody McDonald intercepted and his touch went just over the bar.
A midfield battle ensued with neither side able to create too many openings – a Dickenson cross was too high for any blue shirts before he had an effort saved by Preston Edwards on the 30 minute mark.
The rest of the half passed by without any real incidences – Gills put in a couple of good balls before the break but McDonald nor Luke Norris were able to get anything on them.
Peter Taylor made 11 changes at the interval with trialist Alex Brister playing at right back. Aaron Morris got more minutes under his belt with Antonio German and Danny Kedwell up front.
Fleet started the second half well and nearly went in front a couple of minutes in. A cross to Osborn went over the head of Joe Martin; the midfielder had a shot which was heading in before Kortney Hause recovered to get rid of the danger.
Shortly after Hause had to be alert again – Palmer did well to fend off Brister on the left wing, he crossed for Anthny Cook who got the better of the defence but the on loan Wolves defender quickly recovered and ensured only a corner was conceded, which came to nothing.
On 53 minutes Gillingham created the first real opening of the match. Kedwell combined with Dack to play in the midfielder inside the box, Bradley hit it well but Edwards got down quickly to deny the goal with a strong left hand.
Dack had another effort on 56 minutes directly from a free kick blocked inside the area before Cook curled an effort just wide of the far post.
On 80 minutes substitute Jordan Sanderson forced a decent save from Glenn Morris – the effort was heading in at the far post but the keeper tipped it over before Cook’s corner was headed over the bar by Anthony Acheampong.
Five minutes later and the deadlock was finally broken – Dack, in trying to get the ball safely to Morris, was deprived of possession and within a flash the ball was played to Sheringham who had time and space to beat the oncoming Gills keeper.
Morris positioned himself well but the power and the accuracy of the shot beat him well, giving Ebbsfleet a narrow victory.
Fleet: Edwards, Howe (Sessegnon 37), Palmer, McMahon (Sanderson 69), Acheampong, Huke (Harrington 72), Osborn, Corcoran, Godden (Sheringham 60), Fraser (Johnson 80), Cook.
Unused subs: Hall, Clark, Nguede, Mazzone
Gills (1st half): Nelson, Hare, Barrett, Egan, Borrowdale, McGlashan, Davies, McKain, Dickenson, Norris, McDonald
(2nd half): G Morris, Brister, Legge, Hause, Martin, Loft, Hessenthaler, Dack, A Morris, German, Kedwell.