Gillingham FC extend unbeaten run following 1-1 draw against Welling at Park View RoadGills remain unbeaten during pre-season following a 1-1 draw against Welling at Park View Road on Saturday afternoon.
Antonio German got on the score sheet on nine minutes after a clinical left foot strike nestled into the bottom corner, but Welling rallied after the break and scored a terrific goal courtesy of Joe Healy’s overhead kick just shy of the hour mark.
Both teams had chances to win – Devante McKain saw his header bounce back off the cross bar before substitute Kieron St Aimie blazed his penalty over the bar following a foul on Malachi Hudson by Callum Davies.
Peter Taylor once again fielded two 45 minute sides for the fixture with Josh Stanford and Gary Borrowdale getting the nod in the first half.
John Egan partnered Adam Barrett at the back with Jake Hessenthaler in midfield.
Both sides started the game well and there were numerous chances in the opening minutes – German had an effort on goal which was just wide, sandwiching two good bits of play from Harry Beautyman.
First he delivered a cross to the back post which was just too long for the strikers, before he himself just fell short of another deep ball which, if on target, could have forced Stuart Nelson into a save.
The visitors progressively began to boss proceedings and took the lead on nine minutes.
Adam Barrett fed Danny Kedwell and the Gills number nine in turn found German in a yard of space, the striker got round his marker and finished well with a clinical left foot strike.
Fans had hardly stopped applauding when a second was nearly scored – a cross from the right hand side was delivered towards the far post and Kedwell was within inches of finding the bottom corner with a customary powerful header.
After their strong start Welling struggled to retain possession and Gills took advantage with German and McGlashan firing off target, while Afolabi Obafemi saw a close range strike well blocked by Borrowdale.
On 35 minutes Gills won a free kick on the edge of the box – Hessenthaler played it deep to Kedwell who managed to play it back across goal and Linganzi put his header wide by a couple of yards.
Amine lost the ball 25 yards from goal a few moments later – Welling worked it wide to Obafemi on the right, he chose to shoot and launched an effort way over Nelson’s crossbar.
The referee called a drinks break shortly before the interval with the humidity stronger than initially forecast.
Peter Taylor made 11 changes at the break as expected with Josh Hare, Devante McKain, Aaron Millbank and Mahlon Romeo among the substitutions.
Romeo was a late inclusion to the squad following news Leon Legge and his partner were celebrating the birth of a baby.
The first chance of the half fell to Doug Loft who stung the palms of Lee Butcher from 25 yards before the keeper did well to claim a cross with Romeo delivering a decent ball for the lively Brennan Dickenson.
On the hour mark, following successive corner kicks, Welling pulled level. The visitors looked to clear but Joe Healy held off his marker and found space for an acrobatic effort which flew past Glenn Morris.
The hosts made several changes to freshen things up and they looked a much more settled outfield in the second period and retained possession well.
Another drinks break on 70 minutes was called as the weather continued to make an impact. Millbank’s cross soon after the re-start nearly allowed Dickenson to squeeze past the Welling resistance but a last ditch tackle prevented a shot being taken.
A couple of minutes later and Loft tried his luck again from distance – on this occasion the keeper pushed it over the bar before the following corner was headed over by Norris.
Devante McKain very nearly put the Gills back in front on 84 minutes when his header from a Dack corner struck the woodwork – the centre back did everything right but the ball didn’t dip in time.
Moments later and his defensive partner, Callum Davies, conceded a penalty when he brought down Malachi Hudson inside the area – the sub had got around Glenn Morris with some clever footwork and would have scored but for the defender’s late challenge.
Kieron St Aimie stepped up but fired the spot kick well over the bar. This proved to be the last chance of the game with Dack having to receive treatment late on for a slight knock – the final whistle sounding soon after.
Welling: Butcher, Fazakerley (Williams 67), Jefford (Beale 70), Gallagher (Corne 67), Bush (Mersin 75), Parry (De Bunga 54), Beautyman, Gorman (Day 60), Obafemi (St Amie 60), Healy (Mallen 75), Young (Hudson 60).
Gills (1st half): Nelson, Fish, Egan, Barrett, Borrowdale, Hessenthaler, Stanford, Linganzi, McGlashan, German, Kedwell
Gills (2nd half): G Morris, Romeo, Hare, Davies, McKain, Loft, Dack, Dickenson, Millbank, McDonald, Norris.