Gills leave Crewe empty handed.
Goals from Christopher Long and Tom Lowery ensured Crewe took maximum points in a 2-0 win over Gills on Saturday at the Mornflake Stadium.
David Artell's men scored a goal in each half as Gills left Cheshire empty handed.
Robbie McKenzie returned to the Gills starting XI after missing the previous two games through injury. Gerald Sithole also started the game while Mustapha Carayol returned to the bench.
Academy player Sam Gale was named among the substitutes for the first time in his career.
Rio Adebisi had the first chance of the game for the hosts as he was the first to meet a corner for the Alex. Fortunately, his shot towards the goal was straight at Jamie Cumming.
Chris Porter came close moments later as he latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area. Porter tried to beat Cumming with plenty of power on his shot, but it was straight at the Gills keeper before Ryan Jackson cleared the second ball away.
McKenzie had the first opportunity of the game for Gillingham from a free-kick. However, his effort curled wide of the near post leaving David Richards untroubled.
In the 11th minute, Crewe took the lead. Adebisi’s cross was overhit but was recovered by Scott Kashket, who cut it back into the path of Chris Long. Long smashed it into the roof of the net from close-range, giving Gills little chance to make a goal-line clearance.
In the 27th minute, Cumming did brilliantly to keep the deficit at just one goal. Kashket got in behind the Gillingham defence and was one-on-one with the Chelsea loanee. Cumming did well to close Kashket’s angle before pushing the resulting effort wide of the post.
Jack Tucker came inches away from bringing Gills level after Dan Adshead’s low-curling corner found its way to him. Tucker managed to flick it towards the goal, but it hit the outside of the post before going out for a goal-kick.
Harvey Lintott replaced Bailey Akehurst in a tactical change and the sub, who looked impressive throughout, tested Richards in the 41st minute. He did well to get into the box before trying his luck with an effort towards the near post. The Crewe keeper managed to save it but could not prevent the corner. Unfortunately, it came to nothing.
John Akinde was the next man to test the Crewe goalkeeper as he did well to beat the offside trap. He ran towards the goal but was closed down by the oncoming Richards, who did well to save the left-footed shot from close range.
HALF-TIME: Crewe Alexandra 1-0 Gillingham
In the 63rd minute, Gills somehow failed to equalise. Lintott managed to flick a corner across the goal and hit the inside of the post. The ball fell to Sithole, but he was unable to make any definitive contact with the effort as Richards eventually claimed the loose ball with several Gills players looking to divert home from a yard out.
The visitors enjoyed more of the possession in the second period but Crewe stood firm as they attempted to preserve their clean sheet.
Long had a huge chance to wrap the game up ten minutes from time, but his effort from Kashket’s cutback rattled the top of the woodwork.
In the first few seconds of stoppage time Crewe doubled their lead through Tom Lowery. A quick one-two allowed him to get an open shot on the edge of the box and his effort hit the inside of the post and crossed the line with Cumming rooted to the spot.
FULL-TIME: Crewe Alexandra 2-0 Gillingham
Crewe Alexandra: Richards, Adebisi, Williams, Offord, Long (Mandron 82’), Lowery, Porter, Murphy, Gomes (Finney 46’), Sass-Davies, Kashket (Thomas 90’)
Unused Substitutes: Jaaskelainen, Knight, McFadzean, Griffiths
Gillingham: Cumming, Jackson, Ehmer, Tucker, Akehurst (Lintott 37’), O’Keefe, Phillips, Adshead (Carayol 70’), McKenzie (Gbode 84’), Sithole, Akinde
Unused Substitutes: Chapman, Gale
Referee: Anthony Backhouse
Attendance: 4047 (300)