Defender on target as Gills seal narrow win over Forest.
Jack Tucker’s sixth minute strike was enough to give Gills a 1-0 victory in Tuesday’s friendly against Nottingham Forest at Priestfield.
The centre-back opened the scoring in the early stages with a neat finish from a near impossible angle near the byline on the left hand side of the penalty area; his low strike taking a deflection before nestling in the opposite corner.
The next ten minutes was fairly even with neither side able to take command of proceedings, however on the 20-minute mark Forest had two chances within the space of 30 seconds to draw level. First, Virgil Gomis rounded Tom Hadler before striking the post before Kostas Magaritis did exactly the same thing moments later; this time a left footed strike hitting the right post with the Gills keeper only able to watch.
Gboly Ariyibi forced a fine save from Hadler on 26 minutes; a left footed curling effort somehow kept out by the Gills stopper, but ten minutes later he had to be even better to thwart two golden opportunities within a few seconds. From close range Ethan Stewart forced a brilliant stop low to Hadler’s left before the visiting trialist was also denied with Tom back to his feet almost immediately, and then down again to prevent an equaliser.
At the other end Liam Bossin had to be alert to deny Josh Rees; the midfielder was played in by Alex Lacey who then skipped beyond two challenges on the edge of the box before seeing his toe poked effort blocked by the oncoming keeper.
Gboly Ariyibi sent a free-kick narrowly over the bar just before the half-time whistle.
The game continued in the same way it had ended the first, with Forest perhaps enjoying more possession but unable to break down a well organised Gills defence.
Hadler made yet another good stop to deny the visiting trialist before Ben Chapman and Henry Woods were introduced. Woods was immediately involved with his right footed shot from 20 yards gathered by Bossin.
Jake Taylor slipped as he looked to take advantage of a cross from the left with only Hadler to beat, with the keeper back in action moments later to save Jordan Gabriel’s left footed shot from 20 yards.
Woods saw a second effort gathered by Bossin with Forest unable to find a way past Hadler in the remaining moments despite getting good crosses into the box and enjoying possession in attacking positions. Noel Mbo also saw a late effort deflected with the resulting corner cleared.
Gills: Hadler, O’Neill (Divine 79), Tucker, Lacey, Garmston (Huckle 72), Bingham (Chapman 68), Rees, Charles-Cook (Hlabi 79), Stevenson (Trialist 63), Hanlan (Woods 68), Mbo.
Unused subs: Catherall.