Gills extend unbeaten pre-season run following impressive display against Dartford

Gillingham ran out convincing winners at Princes Park on Tuesday evening after beating Dartford 4-0.

Amine Linganzi, Luke Norris, Antonio German and Brennan Dickenson got the goals in a dominant display which left Manager Peter Taylor very happy following Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Welling.

Taylor adopted the same mentality as in the three previous games by fielding two 45 minute sides, with Danny Kedwell starting up front alongside Luke Norris with Doug Loft partnering Amine Linganzi in the heart of midfield.

Josh Hare got the nod at right back, with Gary Borrowdale having another chance to impress on the left.

Gills didn’t waste any time in opening the scoring – Loft picked up the ball just left of centre and came forward before delivering a ball to the back post.

Kedwell did brilliantly to head it back and Linganzi was in the right place at the right time to convert the chance.

It was a simple opportunity to take, but he capped off a magnificent team move which the Gills management were quick to applaud.

On eight minutes Linganzi could have got a second – Loft sent a teasing corner towards the penalty spot and the midfielder looked disappointed not to have tested Deren Ibrahim in goal.

The keeper was stranded moments later when a low cross from Loft was struck well by Norris; however it took a deflection and just went wide for a corner.

After failing to make anything of it Tom Derry, a former Gills striker, suddenly found himself with a chance at the other end; Borrowdale did well to track back and put in a potentially goal saving tackle before Nelson cleared his lines.

On 14 minutes Gills doubled their advantage courtesy of some great forward work by Luke Norris.

Mat Mitchel-King attempted a back pass, it was slightly heavy which gave Ibrahim an awkward clearance, he struck it well but hit the advancing striker and the ball nestled into the net.

It was Luke’s first goal for the club since joining from Brentford and it was thoroughly deserved considering the ground he made up to distract the keeper.

On 27 minutes another set piece troubled the Dartford defence. Loft floated a delivery towards the back post, Kedwell again was on hand to head it back and Norris, on the turn, was just unable to tuck it away in the bottom corner.

Following a drinks break play resumed – McGlashan had a low drive cleared before seeing another effort go wide moments later.

Just before the break Borrowdale released Norris on the left wing, he fended off a challenge before bursting into the box and having a powerful close range effort blocked by Ibrahim.

H/T: 0-2

The new look Gills XI finished off as their team-mates did in the first, on the front foot.

Dickenson used his pace well to deliver a low cross – McDonald swung his left foot at it but missed it completely and the chance went begging.

Fourteen minutes went by before the first real chance was created, and German took it well. Bradley Dack played a ball on the outside of his right foot for the striker, he set himself and calmly slotted the effort past Ibrahim.

The keeper was called into action once more on 71 minutes – Cornhill fouled McDonald 25 yards from goal, Dack chose to take the resulting set piece but the keeper caught it well.

Another set piece ten minutes later saw McDonald surprisingly play a short ball to Joe Martin, he went round a defender and unleashed an effort which just went wide of the left hand post.

With the score looking certain to finish 3-0, Dickenson was played in by Hessenthaler on the right hand side in the dying moments; he used his pace well and thundered a shot past the keeper.

The full time whistle sounded soon after following a truly dominant display, with four different scorers providing plenty of positives for the management and fans who attended.

F/T: 0-4

Dartford: Ibrahim, Burns, Green, Collier, Mitchel-King, Cornhill, Adekunle (Harris 46mins), Noble (Hayes 46mins), Derry (Bradbrook 46mins), Pugh (Dembele 82mins), Daley. Subs: Vint, Anidugbe, Adams, Scantlebury, Woodyard.

Gillingham (1st half): Nelson, Hare, Egan, Legge, Borrowdale, Loft, Linganzi, McGlashan, Stanford, Norris, Kedwell.

Gillingham (2nd half): G Morris, Fish, Barrett, Davies, Martin, Hessenthaler, Dack, Dickenson, McKain, McDonald, German (Millbank 82)
Referee: Mr F Graham

Attendance: 924