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Match Reports

Report: Portsmouth 1-3 Gillingham

Gills clinch first ever win at Fratton Park.

10 March 2018

Match Reports

Report: Portsmouth 1-3 Gillingham

Gills clinch first ever win at Fratton Park.

10 March 2018

Steve Lovell's men come from behind to create history at Fratton Park.

Gillingham clinched their first ever win at Fratton Park on Saturday with a magnificent comeback 3-1 victory over Portsmouth.

Having fallen 1-0 behind in a first-half controlled by the hosts, Gills exploded out of the blocks in the second half with sub Conor Wilkinson scoring once and Lee Martin bagging an excellent brace as Steve Lovell’s men secured a famous win.

The Gills manager made two changes to the side that lost 2-1 at Bury a fortnight ago with Callum Reilly and Scott Wagstaff replacing Connor Ogilvie and Ben Nugent.

Ogilvie was left out of the squad altogether due to an illness, while Bradley Garmston took a seat as one of the substitutes. Navid Nasseri, Wilkinson and Elllott List provided other options with the Gills setting up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Both sides set out their intentions early with plenty of tackles flying in and a couple of half chances being created; the best of which in the first 10 minutes falling to Jamal Lowe who headed over the bar from just a few yards following fine work from Anton Walkes on the right wing.

On 14 minutes Portsmouth nearly took the lead when an interception allowed the hosts to work the ball into space; Naismith decided to try his luck from 25 yards and narrowly missed the right hand post with Holy thankful to see the effort go behind.

However just a few minutes later the keeper was beaten; a pass forward was played into the feet of Jamal Lowe. He managed to find half a yard of space in amongst two Gills defenders and he rifled an effort into the roof of the goal to give Kenny Jackett’s men the advantage.

On 27 minutes the hosts should have doubled their advantage; a quick free-kick was taken and Lowe suddenly found himself one-on-one with plenty of space. However as Holy came out to narrow the gap the forward hesitated and this allowed O’Neill to get back and put in an excellent challenge to concede a corner which Holy caught with ease before Connor Ronan dragged a shot wide from 20 yards.

Another effort from Naismith went well wide of the target as Gills saw out the rest of the half as Portsmouth failed to find a second goal.

H/T: 1-0

Conor Wilkinson replaced Tom Eaves at the break and Gills immediately went on the attack with Wagstaff crossing in from the right; the ball struck a Portsmouth defender who was sliding in and the winger felt it had touched a hand, however it was waved away by the referee before a second handball shout moments later was equally unsuccessful.

However the visiting fans didn’t have long to wait for an equaliser with Wilkinson having an immediate impact. A ball forward to the striker was touched away from the recovering defence, the ball was loose however the striker was first to it and he curled an excellent shot around Luke McGee from 20 yards to draw Gills level.

The visitors looked more positive in the early stages of the half but their good work was nearly undone on 58 minutes when a quickly taken free-kick from Connor Ronan caught out Tomas Holy, and the ball struck the post before two corners were cleared by the Gills defence.

Portsmouth were made to pay for their missed chance as Gills took the lead on 66 minutes. Lee Martin took a free-kick wide on the left, he aimed the ball towards the opposite post and the delivery was inch perfect as the ball crept inside the woodwork without anyone gaining contact.

The turnaround was complete; however the work was far from complete. Portsmouth gradually began to ask more questions having been on the back foot for most of the half; Donohue striking wide from 18 yards with a couple of headed attempts easily dealt with by Holy.

However, as Portsmouth began to look more dangerous, they fell further behind with ten minutes to play. Martin, now operating on the left, looked set to present a cross for Wilkinson, but instead chose to shoot from a tight angle and lifted a shot over the head of Luke McGee and into the opposite corner to send the away fans into pandemonium.

The hosts refused to give in and sent a number of crosses into the 18-yard box, only to come up against a brick wall as the Gills stood firm, put bodies on the line and ensured all three points went back to Kent.

F/T: 1-3

Pompey: McGee, Walkes, Clarke, Burgess, Ronan, Whatmough (Chaplin 76), Donohue, Lowe, Naismith, Deslandes, Close.

Unused subs: Bass, Kennedy, Chaplin, May, Smith.

Gills: Holy, O’Neill, Ehmer, Zakuani, Reilly, Byrne, Hessenthaler, Martin (Nasseri 90), Parker, Wagstaff (List 79), Eaves (Wilkinson HT).

Unused subs: Hadler, Garmston, Nugent, Moussa.

Attendance: 18247 (1551 Gills)

Referee: Mr C Boyeson

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