Our report from Bloomfield Road.
Blackpool proved clinical at Bloomfield Road on Monday afternoon, defeating Gills 4-1 in Lancashire.
Jerry Yates scored either side of a Jordan Graham goal to put the hosts 2-1 in front. Sullay Kaikai scored in the 30th minute to make it 3-1, and Eliot Embleton made it four just after the hour.
Steve Evans named an unchanged starting XI after Wednesday’s win at home to Wigan. Robbie Cundy didn't quite make the squad as he continues his recovery from injury.
Alex MacDonald had the first attempt of the game in the second minute. Ryan Jackson’s long throw was flicked towards the midfielder, who tried his luck with a volley. Unfortunately, he smacked it over the crossbar.
Jerry Yates gave Blackpool the lead in the fifth minute. A pass back to Jack Bonham was intercepted by Yates, and he ran towards goal unchallenged before slotting past the Gills keeper.
Gills had a massive chance to equalise moments later. Dan Ballard was unable to see the ball out, and John Akinde persisted to claim possession. He tried to square it to Vadaine Oliver, but the pass was intercepted before the striker could knock it home.
Gills levelled in the 14th minute. Akinde got inside the penalty area, and as he got towards the byline, he pulled it back to Jordan Graham via Alex MacDonald. Graham dragged the ball onto his left foot before finding the bottom corner with an accurate shot.
Yates got his second in the 20th minute. Luke Garbutt’s free-kick towards the front post was met by the striker, and he knocked it first time into the bottom corner.
Sullay Kaikai got Blackpool’s third in the 30th minute. The winger ran unmarked into a gap between the Gills defence before firing across goal into the bottom corner from a tight angle on the right side of the penalty box.
Chris Maxwell made a great save to deny Stuart O’Keefe in the 38th minute. He picked the ball up on the edge of the area and worked his way towards the goal. He got into some space and tried his luck. It looked destined for the bottom corner, but Maxwell got a vital fingertip to push it wide for a corner kick which was well defended.
Oliver came close before half-time to reduce the deficit. MacDonald did well to play Tom O’Connor’s long ball into the path of the striker. He got into the area, but his effort aimed towards the top corner went wide.
HALF-TIME: Blackpool 3-1 Gillingham
Gills came out of the blocks in the second half with a lot of energy but, having looked lively following the interval, Elliot Embleton made it four just after the hour mark. Blackpool hit Gills on the counter-attack, and Kaikai got down the left-hand side. He cut it back to Embleton, who slotted it past Bonham.
Gills tried to find a way back into the game but were denied by a good block. Dominic Samuel, on for Akinde, flicked the ball into the path of Oliver but, as he shot, a Blackpool defender came flying in to ensure Maxwell wasn't required to make a save.
Ellis Simms came close to adding a fifth. He got in behind the Gills defence and tried his luck, but his effort was met by a brilliant block from Connor Ogilvie.
FULL-TIME: Blackpool 4-1 Gillingham
Blackpool: Maxwell, Turton, Thorniley, Ballard, Garbutt, Dougall, Ward, Embleton (Gabriel 67’), Kaikai (Mitchell 86’), Simms, Yates (Robson 86’)
Unused Substitutes: Moore, Ekpiteta, Gretarsson, Husband
Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Tucker, Ogilvie, O’Connor, Graham, Dempsey, O’Keefe, MacDonald (Lee 59’), Oliver, Akinde (Samuel 60’)
Unused Substitutes: Bastien, McKenzie, Johnson, Woods, Willock
Referee: Darren Drysdale