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GILLINGHAM 2-2 SWINDON TOWN: MATCH REPORT

19 August 2014

Gills secure a point against Swindon following goals from Danny Kedwell and Kortney Hause

An unlucky late own goal from on-loan goalkeeper Stephen Bywater prevented Gillingham from taking back-to-back wins at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

Top scorer Danny Kedwell put the Gills in front early on, and after Andy Williams equalised for the visitors, Hause fired the hosts back into the lead with a strike that was almost too good to be true.

However, Bywater, on-loan from Millwall, parried Raphael Branco's cross into his own net in the 90th minute.

Manager Peter Taylor made five changes to the starting line-up from Saturday's home win against Yeovil Town, which included handing a debut to former Arsenal man Gavin Hoyte at left wing-back.

But it was the visitors who started the brightest, and they should have gone ahead on five minutes. However defender Raphael Branco somehow headed over Massimo Luongo's pin-point free-kick from close range.

On-loan goalkeeper Stephen Bywater did well to save Branco's 20-yard effort seconds later, before Luke Norris registered the Gills' first attempt on goal with a shot from similar distance on seven minutes.

And within 120 seconds, the hosts took the lead. Kedwell chased down a through ball from Bradley Dack, blocked Town goalkeeper Wes Foderingham's clearance and coolly fired into an empty net for his third goal in as many league games.

Town's search for a quick-fire equaliser saw Michael Smith head into Bywater's hands from Nathan Byrne's deep cross, and Williams shoot at the Gills' goalkeeper after being played through by Luongo.

Leon Legge deflected Luongo's goal-bound volley over the bar on the half-hour mark, and Bywater did brilliantly to parry Ben Gladwin's curling effort wide two minutes later.

For all this, the Gills should have doubled their lead on 35 minutes. Jake Hessenthaler tricked Town's defence with a short free-kick, and from Dack's cross Hause and John Egan both squandered chances to fire home a second.

However, Town equalised on the stroke on half time. After Matt Fish lost possession going forward, Town broke clearly down the left side, and Williams cut inside Egan and curled the ball in the bottom corner.

H/T: 1-1

Jermaine McGlashan and Brennan Dickenson replaced Fish and Norris respectively at half time, as the Gills switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation.

But it was another summer signing – on-loan Wolves man Hause – who put the Gills back in front on 51 minutes with an early goal of the season contender. He latched onto Dack's pass and hit an unstoppable effort into the top corner.

Brad Smith's cross-turned-shot almost crept in at the far post as the visitors' sought an equaliser, and Dack got in the way of Yaser Kasim's powerful shot after 65 minutes. Kasim was denied by Bywater 10 minutes later from a similar range.

Dickenson almost sealed the three points for the Gills after 81 minutes, but his effort cannoned back off the crossbar after Hessenthaler had wriggled past three Town defenders.

Kasim was booked on 86 minutes for diving in the box, to the delight of the home fans, but it was the travelling faithful who were celebrating at the final whistle as Bywater's late error earned Town a point.

F/T: 2-2

Gills: Bywater, Legge, Egan, Hause, Hoyte, Hessenthaler, Davies, Dack, Fish (McGlashan 46), Kedwell, Norris (Dickenson 46)
Unused subs: G Morris, McKain, Millbank, Pritchard, German

Swindon Town: Foderingham, Branco, Thompson, Turnbull, Byrne, Kasim, Luongo (Lelan 83), Gladwin (Barker 76), B Smith, M Smith, Williams
Unused subs: Belford, Barthram, Marshall, Waldon, T Smith

Referee: Mr C Breakspear

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