Huge win for Gills at the LNER Stadium.
Goals from Vadaine Oliver, Kyle Dempsey and Jordan Graham secured a magnificent three points for Gills as they beat Lincoln 3-0 at the LNER Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Oliver opened the scoring in the tenth minute when Graham’s excellent cross towards the back post was met by an emphatic header from the striker as he beat Alex Palmer from six yards.
Dempsey got the second ten minutes later thanks to smart work from John Akinde. Oliver won a flick-on from a long ball forward, and Akinde latched onto it. He put the Gills captain through on goal, and he rifled his shot across Palmer and into the bottom corner.
Graham put the cherry on the cake with three minutes to go. He won a penalty after being pushed inside the area by Cohen Brammall. He stepped up himself and smashed his penalty into the top corner to cap off an incredible win for Steve Evans’ side.
The Gills boss made two changes to the starting line-up following Saturday’s win away at Swindon. John Akinde and Alex MacDonald both returned to the starting XI whilst Tom O’Connor and Olly Lee dropped to the bench.
Lincoln came inches away from taking the lead in the fourth minute. A corner towards the near post was flicked on by Adam Jackson. His flick-on bounced across goal, and fortunately, no one was on hand to prod home as the ball trickled away from danger.
Brennan Johnson had a great chance moments later, as he met Regan Poole's low cross into the box. However, Johnson mis-timed his effort as it bounced off him and went harmlessly wide of the post.
Vadaine Oliver gave Gillingham the lead in the tenth minute. The hosts could not clear their lines following a Ryan Jackson long throw, and Alex MacDonald kept the ball alive. It was played to Jordan Graham, and he dinked a cross towards the back post. Oliver was on hand to head home past Alex Palmer from six yards out wjth a towering header.
In the 19th minute, Johnson tried his luck from distance but dragged his effort wide of the post leaving Jack Bonham untroubled.
Moments later, Kyle Dempsey doubled Gillingham’s lead. Oliver managed to flick the ball to John Akinde, who spotted Dempsey's run into the penalty area. He pushed the ball into the path of the Gills skipper, who brought the ball under control. He then drilled his effort across Palmer into the bottom corner.
Johnson had another half-chance for Lincoln and once again could not make clear contact with his effort. Poole’s cross into the path of the attacker allowed him to hit it first time. However, he completely mis-hit it, and the ball went back out wide. The hosts kept it alive, but Conor McGrandles smashed it wide of the goal.
Gills should have had a third in the 31st minute. Akinde did well to win the ball inside the penalty area and went for goal. The keeper made an excellent stop and Graham was first to react, but his effort was brilliantly stopped. The rebound fell to MacDonald, but he skied his shot as the hosts had a massive let off.
Johnson was at the heart of the Lincoln attack once again as he went down inside the area. It led to a penalty appeal by the hosts, but the referee pointed for a goal-kick.
Gills almost had a third from a Jordan Graham free-kick. Robbie Cundy was first to meet the cross as he headed towards the back post. It looked destined to be prodded home by Akinde. However, a vital clearance from a Lincoln defender denied the striker.
HALF-TIME: Lincoln City 0-2 Gillingham
Morgan Rogers received the ball on the edge of the area and shot from 20 yards. However, Oliver managed to turn the ball behind for a corner with a drag back. The eventual corner came to nothing as Gills quickly forced Lincoln back towards the halfway line.
Bonham did incredibly to deny Adetayo Edun in the 61st minute. Edun was in acres of space and decided to shoot from 30 yards. His effort looked destined for the top corner until Bonham got a crucial hand on it to push it onto the crossbar.
Poole was the next one to test the Gillingham goal from far out. Lincoln hit Gills on the counter-attack, and the ball found its way to the defender. He unleashed a fierce effort towards the far post, but it went wide.
Lincoln continued to put pressure on the Gills goal and saw multiple efforts blocked inside the Gills penalty area, mainly from Tucker and Cundy, before MacDonald cleared the ball away from danger.
Graham won Gills a penalty in the 87th minute. He got inside the box, and Cohen Brammall pushed him down, leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot. Graham stepped up himself and blasted the penalty into the top corner giving Palmer no chance to save it.
FULL-TIME: Lincoln City 0-3 Gillingham
Lincoln City: Palmer, Edun, Jackson, Montsma, Poole, Rogers, Bridcutt (Brammall 65’), McGrandles, Johnson, Morton, Hopper (Scully 82’)
Unused Substitutes: Long, Archibald, Eyoma, Howarth, Jones
Gillingham: Bonham; Jackson, Cundy, Tucker, Ogilvie; O’Keefe, Dempsey, Graham (O’Connor 90’), MacDonald (McKenzie 89’); Akinde (Johnson 90’), Oliver (Lee 90’)
Unused Substitutes: Bastien, Woods
Referee: Mr R Joyce