Regan Charles-Cook strikes in the second half to help earn Gills maximum points at the Wham Stadium.
Gillingham picked up their first away win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Accrington Stanley at The Wham Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Gills went ahead early in the second half thanks to a brilliant Regan Charles-Cook finish, with a string of fine saves from goalkeeper Jack Bonham ensuring a clean sheet was achieved.
Gillingham boss Steve Evans made two changes from the side that picked up a point at Shrewsbury Town in midweek. Mark Marshall and Alex Jakubiak dropped out of the XI, with Mikael Mandron coming into the side, along with midfielder Mark Byrne, who was making his 150th appearance for the club.
The Gills came close twice in the opening moments. Firstly, Regan Charles-Cook crossed for Jack Tucker at the far post, who headed against the post. The ball then came back to Mark Byrne on the edge of the box, and he fired against the other post.
At the other end, Accrington came close when Sam Finley’s cross was turned onto the upright by Colby Bishop, before Offrande Zanzala hit the rebound wide. Gillingham had another opportunity after 15 minutes when Tommy O’Connor’s free-kick came all the way through to Brandon Hanlan, who hit the side netting.
Approaching the half hour mark, Accrington had their best chance. Jerome Opoku crossed for Jordan Clark, who brought a brilliant save out of Jack Bonham in the Gills goal. Moments later the hosts had the ball in the net through Zanzala, but the flag was raised for offside.
Stuart O’Keefe was the next Gills player to try his luck, but he dragged his effort wide of the post from just outside the area.
H/T: Accrington Stanley 0-0 Gillingham
The Gills had the first chance of the half, as Bonham sent the ball long to Hanlan, who held off his defender before firing just wide of the near post. Stanley also came close at the other end, as Zanzala bought a save out of Bonham, before the ball rebounded to Bishop, who hit the post.
Despite Stanley’s pressure, it was the Gills who took the lead just before the hour mark. O’Connor played in Charles-Cook, who came inside and curled a wonderful effort into the far corner to make it 1-0.
Gillingham then made their first change, with Mikael Mandron coming off to be replaced by Alex Jakubiak. Bishop had the chance to bring Stanley level soon after when he was found by Sean McConville’s corner, but his header was well saved by Bonham.
The Gills stopper was called into action once again when substitute Joe Pritchard’s free-kick seemed destined for the corner, only for the ‘keeper to turn the ball round the post. The Stanley pressure continued, with Jordan Clark the next man to have a go, but once again Bonham was there to make the save.
With 15 minutes left, the Gills made their second change, with goalscorer Regan Charles-Cook replaced by Olly Lee. As the game reached the 90 minute mark, the Gills made their final change, with Mikael Ndjoli coming on to replace Brandon Hanlan.
Accrington had one half chance in the final seconds of added time, when Aji Alese turned Pritchard’s corner wide, but the Gills were able to hold on to the win.
F/T: Accrington Stanley 0-1 Gillingham
Accrington Stanley: Evtimov, Johnson (Carvalho 87), Hughes, Alese, Opoku, Conneely, Clark, Finley, McConville (Pritchard 70), Zanzala (Charles 79), Bishop
Unused subs: Bursik, Edwards, Kaba Sherif, Martin
Gillingham: Bonham, Tucker, Ehmer, Ogilvie, O’Connor, Byrne, Jones, O’Keefe, Charles-Cook (Lee 75), Mandron (Jakubiak 62), Hanlan (Ndjoli 91)
Unused subs: Walsh, Hodson, Cisse, Marshall
Referee: Mr J Busby
Attendance: 2,102 (254 away)