Rory Donnelly's 90th minute strike sends Gills top of League One

Rory Donnelly struck his sixth goal in four games to send Gillingham back to the top of Sky Bet League One with a 1-0 win over Crewe at Gresty Road.

Gillingham dominated the second half with sub Cody McDonald striking the post and heading wide from close range.

However the visitors kept going and Donnelly found the net with an excellent strike with just seconds left to clinch maximum points.

Justin Edinburgh made two changes to the side that defeated Chesterfield 3-1 with Aaron Morris and Bradley Garmston replacing Max Ehmer and Brennan Dickenson.

Jermaine McGlashan kept his place in the team with Donnelly aiding him to support solitary striker Luke Norris.

Ryan Jackson returned to the bench following injury with McDonald and Jordan Houghton joining him for company.

Both sides had good spells of possession before Gillingham won the first corner of the game on six minutes, Garmston’s delivery met by John Egan who immediately appealed for handball as a Crewe defender blocked his effort. However the referee was less convinced and play continued.

Four minutes later and Crewe thought they had taken the lead, a ball through the middle opened up a gap for Bradden Inman, Stuart Nelson came out to narrow the angle and that appeared to unbalance the forward who handled the ball before finding the net.

The home supporters cheered briefly but the goal was correctly chalked off with Chris Atkinson firing over the bar shortly afterwards.

Prior to the half hour mark and Gills were dealt a blow when Norris was forced to leave the field due to injury and was replaced by McDonald.

The sub was immediately involved with his header comfortably gathered by Ben Garratt.

A couple of minutes later and the keeper had to be a little more mobile when Egan, the Gills Captain, drove into space left in front of him by the retreating back four.

He chose to shoot and the Crewe stopper palmed the effort wide before Hessenthaler blazed a shot over the bar.

As the half time break approached Crewe missed a golden opportunity to get themselves in front, Inman won possession back wide on the left and drove into the box.

His shot across Nelson was well saved, King was following up and with the goal at his mercy struck the ball over the stand as Garmston tracked back.

H/T: 0-0

Donnelly and McDonald missed the target early on in the second half as Gills stepped up the tempo following the interval.

The Northern Irishman headed wide from a Garmston cross with McDonald missing the target with an acrobatic effort minutes later.

However the sub went even closer on 58 minutes, Garmston again caused havoc when his cross bounced off a Crewe defender – McDonald pounced and saw his first effort well saved before his second struck the right hand post.

The forward was causing a lot of problems but was unable to find the net, shortly after striking the post he had yet another opportunity - Wright played an excellent ball to the back post where Dack was waiting, he aimed the ball towards the danger zone with his first touch and McDonald looked certain to tuck the ball away but he missed the target from just two yards.

Brennan Dickenson replaced Garmston with eight minutes to go and he won a free kick almost immediately which Harry Lennon headed into the side netting following a good delivery by Dack.

And with time nearly up Donnelly struck an absolute beauty to clinch all three points, a cross from the left was only half cleared and eventually the striker won back possession and curled an excellent effort into the top corner to send Gills top.

F/T: 0-1

Crewe: Garratt, Turton, Nugent, Guthrie, Kingsley (Baillie 80), Fox (c), Atkinson (Haber 73), King, Colclough, Inman, Dalla Valle (Cooper 40).
Unused subs: Nizic, Jones, Wilson, Ainley

Gillingham: Nelson, A Morris, Lennon, Egan, Garmston (Dickenson 82), Dack, Wright (Jackson 65), Hessenthaler, Donnelly, McGlashan, Norris (McDonald 28)
Unused subs: G Morris, Ehmer, Houghton, Osadebe

Attendance: 3924 (310 Gills)
Referee: Mr D Webb