Gills beaten in South Yorkshire.
Brad Halliday scored a second half winner at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday as Doncaster beat Gillingham 2-1.
Reece James gave the hosts the lead after they had dominated the opening 30 minutes. A shot from distance was deflected into the path of the Donny man, and he found the bottom corner with an excellent left footed effort which proved too precise for Jack Bonham.
In the 51st minute, Kyle Dempsey had Gillingham back on level terms. Vadaine Oliver flicked the ball onto the Gills skipper, and his half volley from 20 yards out, was drilled into the bottom corner giving Joe Lumley no chance.
However, the Gills lead lasted a matter of moments as Brad Halliday scored what proved to be the winner. Ben Whiteman forced Bonham into a brilliant save, and the rebound fell to Halliday who smashed the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
Steve Evans made one change to the starting eleven that defeated Swindon Town last week as Alex MacDonald replaced Scott Robertson, who was left out as a precaution.
Josh Eccles returned to the bench having missed Tuesday’s defeat through suspension, and Jacob Mellis appeared in the matchday squad having missed the last couple of months with an injury.
Doncaster dominated the possession during the opening ten minutes as the Gills were willing to tuck in and defend. The hosts failed to create an opportunity as Jack Bonham remained untested in goal.
Andy Butler had the first real chance of the game in the 21st minute. A short corner was eventually crossed into the box, and Butler outjumped his man, but he headed the ball into the ground, causing it to go over the crossbar.
Tyreece John-Jules came close moments later. He and Josh Sims linked up to get inside the penalty area before the Arsenal loanee worked the ball onto his left foot and shot just wide of the goal.
In the 29th minute, Gillingham's resistance was finally broken. Donny tried their luck from distance, and the shot was blocked into the path of Reece James. He picked the ball up and calmly slotted it past Bonham and into the bottom corner.
The Gills reacted positively to the goal and came close from a corner. Tom O’Connor’s ball was flicked on by Connor Ogilvie at the front post. However, Jack Tucker could not get his feet set, and it bounced off him at the back post and went out for a goal kick.
Alex MacDonald came close from the edge of the box in the 37th minute. He picked the ball up around 25 yards from goal, and with no one to pass to, he tried his luck, and it went into the side netting.
Just before half-time the hosts almost doubled their lead. Taylor Richards shot from the edge of the six-yard box but was met by an oncoming Bonham who managed to block the ball over the crossbar, and it went out for a corner.
HALF-TIME: Doncaster Rovers 1-0 Gillingham
Gills were far more positive in the opening stages of the second period and, in the 51st minute, Kyle Dempsey brought the score level.
Vadaine Oliver headed the ball onto the Gills skipper, and his half volley from around 20 yards out was driven into the bottom corner giving Joe Lumley no chance.
The captain had struck during Gills best spell of the game but, a matter of moments later, the hosts had restored their lead. Following a counter-attack, Ben Whiteman forced Bonham into a great save. However, he could only parry it into the path of Brad Halliday who smashed the rebound into the roof of the net from close range.
Richards had another chance just after the hour, but he could only prod his shot into the stomach of Bonham.
Sims forced the Gills stopper into a great save in the 70th minute. It was another Doncaster counter-attack, and Sims tried his luck from the edge of the box. Luckily, his left-footed shot aimed for the top corner was brilliantly tipped over by the Gills keeper.
Fejiri Okenabirhie almost made an immediate impact having come on as a substitute. The ball fell to him on the left side of the box. His strong effort cannoned off the inside of the post and went away from goal.
Substitute Jon Taylor was the next to have a shot on target, but it was from a tight angle, and it was parried away by Bonham.
Trae Coyle came close late on, but his volley from an Oliver flick on went wide of the post.
FULL-TIME: Doncaster Rovers 2-1 Gillingham
Doncaster Rovers: Lumley; Halliday, Anderson, Butler, John; James, Whiteman, Sims, Smith (Coppinger 88’), Richards (Taylor 75’); John-Jules (Okenabirhie 81’)
Unused Substitutes: Hasani, Lokilo, Jones, Amos
Gillingham: Bonham; Jackson, Tucker, Ogilvie, O’Connor (Coyle 66’); McKenzie, Dempsey, MacDonald (Medley 46’); Samuel, Akinde (Mellis 46’ (Eccles 82’)), Oliver.
Unused Substitutes: Walsh, Drysdale, Woods
Referee: Mr T Kettle