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Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 2-2 Rochdale

John Akinde scores deep into stoppage time as Gills draw with Rochdale at ME7.

23 January 2021

Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 2-2 Rochdale

John Akinde scores deep into stoppage time as Gills draw with Rochdale at ME7.

23 January 2021

Late goal secures a point.

Substitute John Akinde scored a dramatic last gasp equaliser as Gills drew 2-2 at home to Rochdale at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.

Vadaine Oliver had initially put Gillingham in front on the stroke of half-time.

He was first to meet a Callum Slattery cross, and after seeing his shot saved, he was first to the rebound to smash it into the roof of the net.

Jimmy Keohane scored a second-half brace in six minutes to put Rochdale 2-1 up.

The first came after he got in behind the Gillingham defence and drilled a left-footed effort into the far bottom corner. His second came with his right foot, dragging a shot from 20 yards into the bottom corner.

Akinde scored deep into stoppage time after beating the offside trap and smashed in a volley from ten yards giving Gavin Buzunu no chance.

Steve Evans named an unchanged line-up from Gillingham’s win at Accrington Stanley as Kyle Dempsey and Olly Lee beat knocks to be fit for the game.

Youth team player Harvey Lintott made his first appearance on the substitutes bench.

Ollie Rathbone had the first chance of the game in the sixth minute. Rochdale won possession in midfield, and it allowed Rathbone to try his luck from distance, but it went just over the bar. He tried his luck again shortly afterwards from range, and Bonham was needed to make a fingertip save. 

In the 24th minute, Matt Lund had a great chance. Aaron Morley’s free-kick was met by the Dale man who found half a yard of space. However, he headed it into the ground, and it cleared the crossbar.

Jordan Graham came close from a tight angled free-kick, but it curled just wide of the front post. Olly Lee had a great chance in the 42nd minute to grab the opener.

A Graham cross rebounded around the penalty area before falling to Lee. However, his shot from a tight angle was saved by an oncoming Gavin Bazunu.

In the 43rd minute however, Vadaine Oliver gave Gillingham the lead.

Callum Slattery curled a cross towards the six-yard box, and Oliver was first to it. He forced a good save from Bazunu. However, Oliver was on hand to smash the rebound into the roof of the net.


HALF-TIME: Gillingham 1–0 Rochdale


Kwadwo Baah forced a save from Bonham early in the second period before Connor Ogilvie forced a magnificent save from Bazunu in the 53rd minute.

Graham’s free-kick was curled towards the six-yard box, and the oncoming Ogilvie headed towards goal. It looked destined to hit the back of the net, but the visiting goalkeeper somehow got a hand on it.

In the 69th minute, Jimmy Keohane found an equaliser for Rochdale. He managed to get in behind the Gills defence following a long ball over the top and drilled an effort towards the back post beyond Bonham.

Keohane grabbed his second of the game six minutes later. He found space on the edge of the penalty area before drilling a low shot into the bottom corner, leaving Bonham rooted to the spot.

Moments later John Akinde was brought, on replacing Vadaine Oliver.

Newby almost found a third for Dale in the 88th minute, but Bonham did well to keep it out with his legs.

Deep into stoppage time, Akinde became the hero and salvaged a point. He managed to beat the offside trap after a ball over the top of the Rochdale defence. Akinde latched onto the ball, from Dempsey, and emphatically volleyed it past Bazunu and into the back of the net.


FULL-TIME: Gillingham 2-2 Rochdale


Gillingham: Bonham; Jackson, Tucker, Ogilvie, O’Connor; Dempsey, Slattery (Willock 89’), Graham, Lee, MacDonald (Johnson 76’); Oliver (Akinde 75’)

Unused Subs: Walsh, Lintott, McKenzie, O'Keefe


Rochdale: Bazunu, McLaughlin, Osho, Dooley, Morley, Newby, Keohane, Rathbone, Roberts, Lund, Baah (Hopper 85’)

Unused Subs: Beesley, Done, Tavares, Bradley, Brierley

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