Report | Gillingham 2-0 Swindon Town

Steve Evans' men secure back-to-back Sky Bet League 1 wins following a hard fought victory over Swindon at ME7.

Goals from Vadaine Oliver and Trae Coyle secured all three points as Gills beat Swindon Town 2-0 at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.

Oliver put Gillingham in front on 17 minutes. Ryan Jackson aimed a long ball to John Akinde who flicked the ball in behind the visitor's defence. Oliver outmuscled his man before firing a strong shot into the top corner giving Matej Kouar no chance.

With just ten minutes to go Coyle doubled the lead as he latched onto a smart through ball from Dominic Samuel. He drove towards the penalty area unmarked before passing the ball past the advancing keeper and into the bottom corner to all but secure three points.

Steve Evans named an unchanged starting eleven following Gillingham’s 2-0 victory over Bristol Rovers in midweek. That meant Dominic Samuel, John Akinde and Vadaine Oliver all remained upfront.

Kyle Dempsey and Robbie McKenzie continued in midfield with on-loan Celtic man Scott Robertson also keeping his place. Tom O'Connor continued at left-back.

Tyler Smith had a great opportunity with less than a minute on the clock to give Swindon the lead.

He got in behind the Gillingham defence and found himself one-on-one with Jack Bonham. As he pulled the trigger to shoot, he was met by a brilliant sliding tackle by Jack Tucker who blocked the effort, and it went out for a corner.

Anthony Grant had another chance just moments later. Mathieu Baudry flicked a corner towards the back post, and Grant had a free volley. Fortunately for the Gills back four, he skied it over the crossbar.

Swindon dominated the opening five minutes, and Diallang Jaiyesimi was next to test Bonham. Jaiyesimi worked his way into the penalty area before blasting a shot towards the front post, but Bonham was onto it and pushed it out for a corner.

These missed chances proved costly as, in the 17th minute, Vadaine Oliver gave Gills the lead against the run of play.

Ryan Jackson played a long ball forward, and it was flicked on by John Akinde. The striker’s flick-on went beyond the Swindon defence, and Oliver outmuscled his man to get in on goal before smashing a shot into the top corner. It was an excellent finish by the Northampton striker who secured his third goal in just two games. 

In the 23rd minute, Swindon somehow failed to score after striking the woodwork twice.

A ball towards the back post was headed against the crossbar from a tight angle by Jonathon Grounds, and the rebound fell to Tyler Smith who again headed against the crossbar before Akinde acrobatically cleared.

Scott Robertson tested Matej Kouar from the edge of the box after his initial free-kick was blocked, but it was straight at the goalkeeper who was left untroubled.


HALF-TIME: Gillingham 1-0 Swindon Town


It was a quiet start to the second half with the Gills having more of the possession in the opening stages. There was a spell of long throw-ins for Jackson and Ogilvie, but they came to nothing.

Gillingham had a great counter-attacking opportunity in the 55th minute.

They cleared a Swindon free-kick, and after some smart footwork by Robertson, he played Kyle Dempsey through into the visitors' half. He drove towards the penalty area before playing a ball wide to Samuel, but his cross towards the back post was overhit, and it came to nothing.

In the 62nd minute, Trae Coyle replaced John Akinde who had been a constant threat to the Swindon defence throughout the afternoon. 

Matt Smith came close for the visitors and had hearts in mouths for some Gills fans in the 66th minute as his left-footed shot from distance went inches wide of the post.

Grant had a good chance in the 77th minute as he was given the ball on the edge of the box in space. However, the ball hit a bobble, and his curling shot was skied over the crossbar.

In the 80th minute, Coyle doubled Gillingham’s lead thanks to some smart play from Samuel. He managed to pick the Arsenal loanee out in acres of space, and he drove towards the edge of the penalty area before smartly stroking a shot past Kouar and into the bottom corner.

Swindon enjoyed good possession in the latter stages but failed to create a clear cut chance, with Declan Drysdale playing up front in the final few moments as he came on to replace Oliver.


FULL-TIME: Gillingham 2-0 Swindon Town


Gillingham: Bonham; Jackson, Tucker, Ogilvie, O’Connor; McKenzie, Dempsey, Robertson, Samuel (MacDonald 84’), Oliver (Drysdale 90’), Akinde (Coyle 62’)

Unused substitutes: Walsh, Woods, Eccles, Willock.

Swindon Town: Kovar, Grounds, Baudry, Jaiyesimi, T. Smith (Parsons 87’), M. Smith, Odimayo, Donohue (Conroy 37’), Payne, Curran, Grant

Unused substitutes: Fyer, Caddis, Lyden, Haines, Parsons, Holland