Gills put in solid performance on the road to defeat Colchester 2-0 in pre-season friendly.
Goals from Ben Reeves and Jack Tucker helped to secure an impressive 2-0 pre-season victory for the Gills at the Jobserve Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Reeves gave Gillingham the lead in the 10th minute as he was first to a rebound and blasted it into the centre of the net.
Tucker made it two in the 81st minute as his fierce first-time effort was blasted into the top corner giving the goalkeeper no chance.
Steve Evans named new signings Rhys Bennett and Daniel Phillips in the starting XI for the fixture. The pair signed for the club on Friday afternoon.
Colchester were denied a goal scoring chance early on thanks to some brilliant defending from Jack Tucker. Trialist managed to get in behind the Gills defence and drive into the penalty area. As he went to shoot, Tucker was on hand to get in front of it and prevent the effort from going goalwards.
Moments later, Ben Reeves opened the scoring for Gills. Kyle Dempsey ran towards the edge of the box and shot from 20 yards out. Dean Gerken was unable to keep hold of the shot, and Reeves was first to the rebound and fired it into the back of the net.
Aaron Chapman did well to deny Freddie Sears in the 21st minute. The Colchester forward had a free-kick on the edge of the area, and his effort was a low one. Chapman did well to get down to it and palm it away from danger.
Chapman did well to prevent Sears from equalising again shortly afterwards. The striker smartly got into the penalty area unnoticed and aimed a shot towards the far corner. Chapman got down low to push it away from goal as he kept the Gills in front.
Dempsey came close just short of the half-hour mark. A Ryan Jackson long throw came out as far as the skipper, and he tried his luck. The ball took a deflection as it flashed wide of the post, leaving Gerken rooted to the spot.
HALF-TIME: Colchester United 0-1 Gillingham
Colchester hit Gills on the counter-attack in the 56th minute and came close to an equaliser. The trialist did well to run through the Gillingham midfield and played a good pass into the box. A nice flick to Noah Chilvers presented him with a fantastic opportunity. Fortunately, Jackson was on hand to get a foot in and stopped what seemed to be a glorious chance.
Chapman denied Sears once more after an hour. The Colchester forward got in behind the Gillingham defence and tried to squeeze a shot past the former Peterborough man. The Gills keeper was equal to it, using his big frame to block the shot. Sears tried to lob him on the rebound but was unable to find the target.
The Gills made six changes in the 70th minute, and John Akinde was right in the heart of the action straight away. He used his power to get into the Colchester area before blocking a clearance. The loose ball fell to Stuart O’Keefe, who tried his luck. The Trialist in goal for the hosts did well to save the effort.
Tucker made it two in the 81st minute. Gills worked the ball into the Colchester penalty area and enjoyed some good possession inside it before Akinde laid it off to Tucker. The centre-back did well to strike it first time into the top corner giving the keeper no chance.
FULL-TIME: Colchester United 0-2 Gillingham
Colchester United: Gerken (Trialist D 62’), Welch-Hayes (Trialist A 79’), Clampin (Eastman 70’), Chambers (Beadle 70’), Smith, Wiredu(Tovide 79’), Skuse (Trialist C 70’), Sears (Nouble 70’), Chilvers (Cornish 79’), Coxe (Thomas 79’), Trialist B
Unused Substitutes: Collins, Judge
Gillingham: Chapman, Jackson (Lintott 62’), Tucker, Bennett (Akehurst 70’), Trialist, O’Keefe, Phillips (Gale 70’), MacDonald (Woods 70’), Dempsey (Lee 70’), Reeves (Lloyd 70’), Oliver (Akinde 70’)
Unused Substitutes: Crump
Referee: Mr A Dale