Cody McDonald bags a brace as Gillingham defeat Swindon Town 3-0 at the County GroundGillingham produced one of their best away performances of the season to defeat promotion chasing Swindon Town 3-0 at the County Ground on Tuesday evening.
Cody McDonald bagged a brace with Jake Hessenthaler getting the other in a truly emphatic display which saw the club record their first win at Swindon since 1982.
McDonald produced a clever back heel to open the scoring, with Hessenthaler grabbing a second just moments after the interval to put the visitors in the driving seat.
And with Swindon looking to make it a nervous ending McDonald latched onto a long clearance from Nelson and lifted it over the advancing Wes Foderingham to earn Justin Edinburgh’s men a memorable victory.
The Gills boss made two changes to the side that were defeated by Barnsley – Josh Pritchard was brought back into the action in place of Jermaine McGlashan who dropped to the bench, while Joe Martin replaced the injured Bradley Garmston at left back.
Brennan Dickenson was named among the substitutes with Mahlon Romeo sitting out on this occasion. Aaron Morris, Danny Galbraith, Leon Legge and Luke Norris were the other outfield sub options.
Gills began the game on the front foot and forced an early corner kick which Max Ehmer flicked on but no blue shirt was on hand to have an effort on goal.
Swindon slowly got themselves forward but the visitors remained threatening on the counter and McDonald had a great chance on 15 minutes to open the scoring.
Bradley Dack won possession in midfield; his short pass to Marquis was in turn thread through to McDonald. He advanced through on goal, took the ball to the left hand side and drilled an effort which went wide of the post.
Ten minutes later and Swindon nearly made the visitors pay for their missed chance, a shot from outside the area following a cross from John Swift was blocked by Massimo Luongo at the far post, he was unable to tuck away the loose ball with the offside flag being raised soon after from a follow up attack.
On 29 minutes Gillingham broke the deadlock with an excellent piece of improvisation from McDonald. A cross from Loft on the left hand side found its way to Marquis, however he was unable to gain control and the ball wriggled free for McDonald who smartly back heeled the ball past Wes Foderingham.
The coaching staff had hardly sat down when a second Gillingham goal was scored. McDonald found space on the left wing; he cut inside and played a short pass to Dack.
He delivered a ball to the near post where Hessenthaler was lurking; he got a great touch to the delivery and beat Foderingham.
Only 30 seconds were on the clock and the visitors found themselves two goals to the good. Swindon came back though; Byrne having a shot which went way wide of the right hand post before a snap shot from Andy Williams cleared the frame of the goal.
A header from substitute Jon Obika just went over the crossbar before Doug Loft let fly with an effort which only just cleared the crossbar with Foderingham at full stretch.
Four minutes before the end and Mark Cooper’s side nearly found a way back into the game, a powerful effort inside the box from substitute Ben Gladwin crashed against the bar with the Gills defence on hand to clear the second ball.
But the goal scoring antics were still not over, Nelson launched an excellent clearance down field and McDonald, having anticipated the pass, was already on the move and although his first touch was slightly heavy he evaded a challenge and lifted the ball over Foderingham and into the back of the net.
The final whistle sounded soon after with the players celebrating in front of the 278 fans that had made the journey.
Swindon: Foderingham, Thompson, Byrne, Luongo, Turnbull, Kasim, Smith (Obika 52), Williams (Hylton 61), Swift, Toffolo, Rossi-Branco (Gladwin 73).
Unused subs: Belford, Barthram, Rodgers, Ouldridge.
Gills: Nelson, Hoyte, Ehmer, Egan, Martin, Pritchard, Dack, Loft, Hessenthaler, McDonald, Marquis (Norris 79).
Unused subs: G Morris, Legge, Galbraith, A Morris, McGlashan, Dickenson.
Attendance: 7025 (278 Gillingham)
Referee: Mr T Robinson