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GILLINGHAM FC 2-1 SCUNTHORPE UNITED: MATCH REPORT

20 October 2015

Harry Lennon's stoppage time winner helps 10-man Gills come from behind to beat Scunthorpe United at MEMS Priestfield Stadium

Gillingham remain top of League One after goals from Brennan Dickenson and Harry Lennon give them a hard-fought 2-1 victory over in-form Scunthorpe United.

This visitors went ahead through Scott Laird in the 53rd minute, before substitute Dickenson levelled shortly after.

Josh Wright was controversially dismissed by referee Lee Swaby, before Lennon headed in from close range to give the Gills a memorable victory.

Manager Justin Edinburgh made two changes from Saturday's last-gasp win at Crewe: injured Luke Norris was replaced by Ben Williamson, while Emmanuel Osadebe came in for Jermaine McGlashan.

The bench also included Noel M'Bo; the 16-year-old first-year scholar is currently the top scorer in the Gills' youth team. 

Osadebe won the Gills' first corner of the game after seven minutes by hassling Gary McSheffrey, from which John Egan's shot was unintentionally blocked by Rory Donnelly. 

McSheffrey had the visitors' first notable chance of 15 minutes, but his half-volley from an acute angle went just past Stuart Nelson's far post.

Jake Hessenthaler came even closer seconds later, heading wide at the front post from Bradley Dack's free-kick.

Nelson was called into acton in the 19th minute, after Josh Wright was penalised for a foul on McSheffrey. The former Birmingham man took the free-kick from the edge of the box, that was tipped wide by the full-stretch Gills goalkeeper.

Defender Murray Wallace, on-loan midfielder Tommy Rowe and Scott Wiseman all threatened for the visitors in the latter part of the half, who grew in confidence as the break drew closer.

H/T: 0-0

McGlashan and Dickenson were introduced at half time, as Hessenthaler and Williamson made way in Edinburgh's double substitution. 

Dack had an early cross deflected on target in the opening exchanges, before United took the lead eight minutes into the second half.

Wiseman's deep cross found the onrushing Laird, who brilliantly volleyed in at the back post.

However, the Gills' didn't take long to respond: from Dack's deep corner, Dickenson headed in at the back post to level on 59 minutes. 

Provider almost turned goalscorer in the 66th minute, as Dack's 25-yard half-volley flew just wide of Luke Daniels's post. 

Laird almost set up a United second as the game entered the final 15 minutes; his inviting cross was almost tucked in at the back post by the onrushing Tom Hopper, but the striker failed to connect with the ball. 

Referee Swaby – hardly the most popular man in the MEMS Priestfield Stadium in the first 80 minutes – then dismissed Wright for a challenge on Paddy Madden, much to the bewilderment of most in the ground.

United came close to a late winner, as captain Jack King curled an effort onto the roof of the net with five minutes remaining.

Lennon then got on the end of Dack's inswinging delivery to put the Gills ahead two minutes into stoppage time, sending the Rainham End into dreamland.

However, only a brilliant Stuart Nelson with the last touch of the game prevented United's Wallace from heading in an equaliser from point blank range. 

The Gills entertain Southend United at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium in a 3pm kick-off on Saturday. 

F/T: 2-1

Gillingham: Nelson, A Morris, Egan, Lennon, Garmston, Hessenthaler (Dickenson 45), Wright, Osadebe (Houghton 71), Dack, Donnelly, Williamson (McGlashan 45)
Unused subs: G Morris, Ehmer, Oldaker, M'Bo

Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Wiseman, Mirfin, Wallace, Laird, Bishop, King, Rowe, Madden (Lolley 89) Hopper (van Veen 84), McSheffrey (Williams 67)
Unused subs: Anyon, Goode, Clarke, McAllister

Referee: Mr L Swabey

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