A combination of first-team and youth players draw 0-0 at Braintree.
Several first-team players got vital minutes under their belts as Gills kept a clean sheet to draw 0-0 at Braintree on Wednesday evening at Cressing Road.
Paul Raynor and Craig Stone took charge of the game and gave starts to the likes of Sacha Bastien, Christian Maghoma, Henry Woods, James Morton, Robbie McKenzie and Tyreke Johnson.
Matt Baker, Bailey Akehurst, Harvey Lintott and George Baker-Moran were the youth team members who featured, having also played in Tuesday's cup win at Oxford, with Matty Willock also included in the XI.
Willock had the first opportunity of the game when his powerful effort from distance was well saved by Pat Ohman. Correy Davidson had an even better chance for the hosts a few minutes later, but his effort from inside the box was blazed over the bar following some fine work from Johnville Renee.
Braintree had two opportunities within the space of sixty seconds just before the 20-minute mark. Ade Yusuff forced a decent save from Bastien, low to his left, before the keeper was required again just moments later to punch away Ken Charles’ effort, with the angle against the striker.
Gills progressively got the upper hand in the half and, although delivered a number of crosses from wide areas, George Baker-Moran was well marked throughout and keeper Pat Ohman remained relatively untroubled. Tyreke Johnson’s shot from distance kept the Braintree stopper on his toes, and a late free-kick from Arjanit Krasinoi was well blocked for a corner which the Gills defence did well to clear.
Braintree made a few changes at the break, one in goal, but it was an outfield trialist who had the first effort of the second half when a powerful right footed shot from 20 yards went just over the bar, before Bastien had to be alert to punch away a free-kick from Krasinoi at his near post.
Willock found space for a solo run through the middle just prior to the hour mark; he shrugged off a couple of half challenges before sending a right footed effort wide of the near post.
Braintree sub, Jake Clowsley, came close to an opener on 73 minutes when Sacha Bastien couldn’t quite gather a corner at the first attempt, however he was up quickly to unsettle the forward who as a result fired over the bar from close range.
The closing stages of the game were fairly even, with only a Josh Chambers free-kick forcing Tommy Dixon-Hodge into a routine stop.
Braintree: Ohman (Dixon-Hodge HT), Robbins, Porter (Miskin 68), Johnson, Clements, Trialist (Trialist HT), Renee, Krasinoi (Piorkowski 66), Yusuff, Charles (Clowsley 60), Davidson.
Unused subs: Trialist, Trialist, Gipson.
Gills: Bastien, Lintott, Baker, Maghoma, Akehurst, Woods (Maher 66), Morton, Willock (Medhurst 81), McKenzie (Chambers 66), Johnson, Baker-Moran (Sithole 55).
Unused subs: Walker