Gills slip to narrow defeat at home to Burton.
An early Ousseynou Cisse goal wasn’t enough to earn Gillingham a result on Saturday as a double from Nathan Broadhead just before the interval ensured it was Burton Albion who went away with the points as Steve Evans’ side slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Priestfield.
Gillingham made the perfect start at Priestfield as they opened the scoring in the seventh minute. A free-kick from Mark Marshall was spilled by the goalkeeper and Ouss Cisse tucked home from close range to send the Rainham End celebrating.
Burton went about an immediate response though and Liam Boyce struck wide after a driving run from inside his own half - it was a cracking opportunity for the visitors. They were to come even closer a few minutes later but Jack Bonham was on hand to deny Ryan Edwards and Nathan Broadhead in quick succession.
On the half hour mark Stuart O’Keefe brought down Scott Fraser in the box. Lucas Akins stepped up to the spot but Jack Bonham guessed right and saved well down to his left - another roar from the Rainham End.
As half time approached, Mikael Ndjoli came within inches of extending the lead, but he shot narrowly over from 20 yards after some good work from Cisse.
However, Burton netted twice in a five minute spell just before the interval to turn the game on its head. Firstly, Nathan Broadhead curled in from the edge of the box to give Bonham with no chance in the Gills goal. 1-1.
And Broadhead soon doubled his tally and put Burton ahead. This time a driving run from the right hand-side saw the ball drilled across the face of the goal and Broadhead turned the ball home from close range. 1-2.
Steve Evans wasted no time in changing things up and introduced both Mikael Mandron and Mark Byrne at the break. Mikael Ndjoli and Alex Jakubiak the men withdrawn. Soon after, Elliott List replaced goalscorer Ouss Cisse. It was the winger’s 100th appearance for the Gills.
From a Mark Marshall corner, the ball dropped to Byrne inside the six-yard-box but a brave block from a Burton defender ensured the Brewers remained ahead.
In the 70th minute, John Brayford drove at the Gills backline and played a give and go with Akins but under pressure, he fired wide. The pressure was starting to build, and Burton were dropping deeper. Though, the tenacity of Liam Boyce ensured Burton always had an “out ball.”
Broadhead struck a free-kick over the bar before Lee Hodson saw a shot blocked by the Albion back-line before Liam Boyce struck wide of the post after a swift counter attack.
The final action of the game saw Mark Byrne shoot wide after another defensive mix-up, but his dinked effort fell the wrong side of the post.
Gillingham: Bonham, Fuller, Jones, Ehmer, Hodson, O’keefe, Cisse (List 55), Jakubiak (Byrne 45), Marshall, Ndjoli (Mandron 45), Hanlan.
Unused subs: Walsh, Ogilvie, Charles-Cook, Woods.
Burton: O’Hara, Brayford, Daniel, Edwards, Buxton, Wallace, Fraser, Fraser, Broadhead (Hutchinson 87), Akins, John Joe O’Toole, Boyce.
Unused subs: Bywater, Sbarra, Sarkic, Nartey, Anderson, Beardsley.
Referee: Mr James Linnington
Attendance: 4682 (95 away fans)