Conor Wilkinson and Elliott List on target as Gills win at Salters Lane.
Gillingham produced two quickfire second half goals to overcome Faversham Town 3-1 at Salters Lane on Tuesday evening.
Darren Oldaker had given Gills the lead prior to the break, however Jack Harris provided an immediate reply to ensure the scores were level at the interval.
The visitors turned up the tempo in the second period with Conor Wilkinson and Elliott List scoring within a couple of minutes of each other to virtually kill the game off.
Gills fielded a strong side for the game with skipper Gabriel Zakuani, Wilkinson and List all involved from the start.
Josh Rees, Connor Ogilvie and Navid Nasseri were also given key minutes as all members of the squad attempted to put themselves in contention for Saturday’s home game against Peterborough.
A couple of familiar faces were among the Faversham XI with Ashley Miller and Gills community coach Dean Grant looking to provide the goals for the hosts.
And it was the home side who had a couple of early half chances with Hadler quick off his line to prevent Grant from getting through on goal, before Harry Goodger forced a fine save from the Gills stopper after robbing Jack Tucker of possession 30 yards from goal.
A couple of minutes later and Tom Benham had to be alert to deny Stevenson who decided to try and surprise the keeper with a shot from range. The keeper just about put the ball past the post using his left arm. Rees was then judged to have fouled Benham as the keeper came to collect Oldaker’s corner.
Josh Rees came close to finding the net when a follow up cross, following another Oldaker corner, took a couple of ricochets inside the penalty area but those touches appeared to go against the midfielder who diverted wide from close range.
Ogilvie and List both had half chances which untroubled Tom Benham before Wilkinson placed an effort over the bar following good work on the right side from Stevenson.
Another effort from List was gathered by Benham before Faversham nearly took a surprise lead. Monger’s free-kick from wide on the right was sent into the heart of the danger zone and Grant managed to get away from his man and send a header towards the bottom corner which was brilliantly kept out by Hadler.
As the interval approached Gillingham seized the chance to gain an advantage and after a slack defensive pass, Nasseri was set away on the left side. His shot was blocked, however he retrieved the loose ball and Oldaker was spotted. He picked his spot and beat Benham with an accurate strike from 20 yards.
However, celebrations were short lived as Faversham equalised almost immediately. A powerful shot from range, courtesy of Jack Harris, beat Hadler, although it looked as if the effort may have taken a touch on the way through.
An early Harris shot was blocked by Zakuani before Stevenson placed an effort beyond the far post as Ryan Cooper failed to clear Chapman’s cross field pass.
Oldaker tried his luck from range once again but fired over prior to Gills second goal of the game. A cross from DJ was aimed towards the penalty spot; a small flick on gave Wilkinson the opportunity to shoot, his first touch was heavier than planned but he beat Benham to the loose ball and found the back of the net.
And within a few minutes it was three; a penalty was awarded by the referee after spotting a foul and List calmly slotted it down the middle as Benham moved to his left.
Harris came incredibly close to setting up a tense finish when he latched onto a cross from the left; his effort struck the bar and the post before being cleared with the home side believing it to have crossed the line.
Another effort from Wilkinson was this time saved by Benham before Leroy Hlabi came on in his place for the remaining 13 minutes. Noel Mbo, on for List, had the ball in the net late on after a glancing header found the bottom corner, but as he got back to his feet he looked over his shoulder to find the flag was up.
Faversham: Benham, Cooper, Wilson, Cook, Carrington, Walder, Miller, Monger, Goodger (off 55), Harris, Grant
Subs: Jenner, Tenyue, Cheek, Griffiths, Miles.
Gills: Hadler, Chapman, Zakuani (Simpson 61), Tucker, Ogilvie, Rees (Sheminant 79), Stevenson, Oldaker, Nasseri, Wilkinson (Hlabi 77), List (Mbo 61).
Unused subs: Catherall
Referee: Mr I Searle