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Match Reports


Josh Parker and Gabriel Zakuani on target as Gills defeat Darts.

11 July 2017

Match Reports


Josh Parker and Gabriel Zakuani on target as Gills defeat Darts.

11 July 2017

Gillingham made it two wins out of two in their pre-season schedule by defeating Dartford 2-1 in torrential rain at Princes Park on Tuesday evening.

Josh Parker and new signing Gabriel Zakuani were on target in the first half to hand the visitors the advantage.

Tom Murphy pulled one back midway through the second half but Gills held out for victory.

Boss Ady Pennock altered his plans slightly by playing one team for an hour and introducing 11 new players for the remainder of the game.

First year pro Ben Chapman started the first half with two trialists also given a chance to impress.

Finn O'Mara started at the back alongside Zakuani and Max Ehmer.

Dartford enjoyed good early possession but they found themselves behind within five minutes. Ehmer found space on the right hand side, his low cross took a deflection and Zakuani was in space at the far post to head home.

The hosts didn't seem fazed by the early setback though and Ryan Hayes tried the impossible on nine minutes by lobbing Tomas Holy but the keeper saw the effort coming and tipped the shot over for a corner.

Josh Wright was next to go close, with space to his right hand side he allowed the ball to run across him and from around 25 yards he tried his luck and sent his drilled effort narrowly wide.

Lyle Della-Verde stung the palms of Holy on 21 minutes. His strike was clean but straight at the giant keeper who simply had to push it away.

With the game seemingly going through a quiet period it took a brilliant piece of individual work by Bradley Garmston to liven things up and help create a second goal.

His solo run on the left caused problems for the Dartford back four, his cut back found Parker in space and from 18 yards he launched a shot beyond Deren Ibrahim.

The visitors came close to pulling one back before the break but Zakuani, Ehmer and O'Mara combined to resist the pressure.

H/T: 0-2

The half started quietly with neither side creating any openings in the early stages.

As planned the new looks Gills XI took to the field on the hour mark and immediately caused problems for the Dartford defence.

Cundle, Wilkinson and List all got into good positions without forcing Ibrahim into a save, but at the other end Stuart Nelson had the unfortunate duty of scooping the ball out of his net following a brilliant effort from Murphy.

On 74 minutes the Dartford sub, and ex-Gills youngster, cut inside from the right and made space for a shot which flew into the top corner giving the Gills stopper absolutely no chance having moments before made an excellent save from close range.

Gills continued to play in the same way and on 83 minutes Elliott List burst free on the right flank, he spotted Cundle in space and the forward narrowly dragged his effort wide of the left post.

F/T: 1-2

Gills (first 60 mins): Holy, O'Mara, Zakuani, Ehmer, Chapman, Wagstaff, Wright, Trialist, Garmston, Trialist, Parker.

Gills (last 30 mins): Nelson, O'Neill, Tucker, Trialist, Hessenthaler, List, Byrne, Martin, Ogilvie, Cundle, Wilkinson.

Unused subs: Hadler, Simpson, Stevenson, Oldaker, Mbo.

Dartford XI: Ibrahim, Harris, Onyemah, Bonner, Vint, Noble, Hayes, Bradbrook, Mfula, Pugh (Cue 65), Della-Verde.

Subs to follow.

Referee: Mr C Breakspear

Attendance: 710

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