Gillingham continued their impressive pre-season form with a 2-1 win over Colchester United at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Friday evening.
Goals from Lee Martin and Josh Parker put Gills in a commanding position before sub Ryan Jackson halved the deficit on 75 minutes.
Ady Pennock named a strong XI with Scott Wagstaff and Connor Ogilvie operating as wing backs with Parker partnering Eaves in attack.
Colchester included former Gills skipper Doug Loft in their team with Jackson on the bench.
The visitors nearly got off to a flying start when Eaves held the ball up and played a neat pass to his left hand side where Ogilvie decided to have a crack from 25 yards. His effort beat the keeper but came back off the bar.
Gillingham had more of the possession in the opening 15 minutes, however only Lee Martin forced Sam Walker into a save with the keeper comfortably stopping a low drive. At the other end Tomas Holy got down well to save a powerful effort from Craig Slater from all of 25 yards.
On 27 minutes Eaves went close to breaking the deadlock. Martin’s free-kick was aimed towards the forward, and although his header was a good one it was an equally good save by Sam Walker who got down low to his right to make the save.
However the opening goal wasn’t far away; three minutes to be precise. Eaves and Parker linked up to create space for Martin, the midfielder received the ball in his stride and sprinted beyond the chasing defence. He spotted Walker diving towards one side and sent his shot the other way to grab the opener.
Parker could have made it two shortly afterwards but his attempted chip was well stopped by Walker who deflected the shot over the bar using his feet.
Jackson was introduced at the break and was involved immediately, seeing two successive crosses blocked by Max Ehmer and Ogilvie.
Mikael Mandron should have levelled the scores just a couple of minutes later; he managed to squirm past the advancing Holy but sufficient cover was back in time to rob the player of possession.
From the resulting counter attack Eaves shot narrowly wide from inside the area with sub keeper Gilmartin seemingly beaten to his right hand side.
Within a few minutes though the Gills lead was doubled. Martin’s set plays again caused problems; his corner from the right found the head of Parker and Gilmartin was unable to keep it out as the ball came off the inside of the post.
O’Neill went close to making it three on 58 minutes; after a strong solo run he was invited to shoot as the Colchester defence backed off, he accepted the invite but his powerful strike missed the target.
With 20 minutes to go the deficit was halved when Jackson found yards of space on the right wing; his pace saw him bursts into the box and he managed to squeeze the ball between Holy and his near post.
Before leaving the field Parker had a half chance to grab his second, a decent cross by Byrne sat up for the forward but before he could pull the trigger a last ditch interception denied him from making contact.
Colchester: Walker (Gilmartin 46), Kinsella (Issa 81), Loft (Lapslie 58), Johnstone, Kpekawa, Wynter, Eastman, Mandron. Vincent-Young (Jackson 46), O'Sullivan, Slater.
Unused subs: Wright, Szmodics, Murray, James, Jeffries.
Gills: Holy, O'Neill, Zakuani, Ehmer, Wagstaff, Ogilvie (Simpson 83), Bingham, Byrne, Martin (Oldaker 83), Eaves (Mbo 83), Parker (Stevenson 83).
Unused subs: Hadler.
Referee: Mr G Ward