Gills secure their first win of the 2014/15 league season following goals from Joe Martin and Danny KedwellGoals from Joe Martin and Danny Kedwell secured Gills first league win of the 2014/15 season after a 2-0 victory over Yeovil at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.
Martin produced a stunning free kick on 35 minutes to beat Chris Weale, and Kedwell made it two in the second half when he found the net at the second attempt following a missed penalty.
However the win did come at a slight cost with both Josh Hare and Martin leaving the field due to injury.
Peter Taylor made four changes to the side that beat Yeovil in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday – Stephen Bywater started in goal following his loan move from Millwall in place of Glen Morris.
Jake Hessenthaler, Antonio German and Aaron Morris came into the team in place of Luke Norris, Bradley Dack and Brennan Dickenson.
Antonio German was the man chosen to partner Kedwell in attack.
Both sides enjoyed good possession in the opening stages with the visitors looking to use the counter attack whenever possible, and it was during one of their attacks that Gills incurred their first injury problem of the afternoon.
Hare, making his first league start for the club, took a ball on the side of the face and immediately went to ground and required treatment. It became obvious quickly that the youngster had been knocked out, and as a result he was replaced by Matt Fish.
Moments later and Bywater was called upon for the first time – Ajay Leitch-Smith created a yard of space for himself outside the box and unleashed a right foot effort towards goal.
It was on target but the on loan stopper saw it all the way and was down quickly to collect with both hands.
Kedwell saw his first effort blazed over the bar before Gary Johnson’s side had a great chance to open the scoring – Leon Legge brought down Ben Nugent inside the penalty area with the Yeovil player having got past Fish with a good turn of pace.
The referee made no hesitation in pointing to the spot but the resulting kick, take by Kieffer Moore, was saved by Bywater – the on loan keeper caught the effort which gave the forward no chance of a follow up strike.
This seemed to spark Gills into life and following a good spell they took the lead on 35 minutes. The hosts were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal, Martin decided to have a shot on goal and found the top corner with a spectacular effort which gave Weale no chance at all.
The left wing back celebrated his first goal of the new season, having scored a similar effort at home to Peterborough last season.
Gillingham had a succession of corners just before the interval, but Yeovil survived the scare and the hosts went in 1-0 up at the break.
After a quiet start to the second half Gills were quickly given the opportunity to double their advantage via the penalty spot. Aaron Morris was fouled in the corner of the box by Nathan Smith, and predictably Kedwell was the man to place the ball on the spot.
The striker’s initial effort was saved, but the power of the shot gave Weale little chance to catch it and so could only parry the penalty back at the striker who confidently converted the second chance.
It was his second goal in two league games, having also found the net courtesy of a penalty kick against MK Dons on the opening day.
Loft saw an effort go wide of the target before Legge did brilliantly to block a potentially threatening effort by Leitch-Smith.
The visitors did their utmost to find a way back into the game but John Egan, Kortney Hause and Legge were in solid form and ensured Bywater kept a clean sheet on his debut for the club.
With Martin going off in the final few minutes Loft filled in at left back with Josh Pritchard coming on in the 87th minute to make his first professional appearance for the club.
The final whistle sounded soon after, with Peter Taylor happy to secure the first points of the new campaign.
Gills: Bywater, Hause, Legge, Egan, Hare (Fish 11), Martin (Pritchard 77), A Morris, Loft, Hessenthaler, German (Dickenson 77), Kedwell.
Unused subs: Morris, Davies, Dack, Pritchard, Norris
Yeovil: Weale, Smith, Edwards, Martin, Sokolik, Dawson, Leitch-Smith, Moore, Ralph (Moloney 76), Nugent, Gillett.
Unused subs: Krysiak, Hayter, Foley, Hoskins, Lanzoni, Brooks
Referee: Mr L Collins