Points shared at ME7.
Gills were unable to break the deadlock against a stubborn Accrington Stanley on Saturday at MEMS Priestfield Stadium with the game ending 0-0.
Steve Evans named an unchanged starting XI from the side that drew at Bolton in the previous league game.
Mustapha Carayol returned to the bench, having recovered from injury. Academy products Harvey Lintott, Bailey Akehurst and Gerald Sithole were named amongst the substitutes with Olly Lee, Alex MacDonald, Dan Phillips and David Tutonda all out injured.
Danny Lloyd had the first chance of the game for the Gills. He received the ball from Kyle Dempsey just inside the box and placed it onto his left foot as he readied to shoot. Lloyd tried to beat Toby Savin at his near post from a tight angle, but the Accrington keeper did well to deal with it.
John Akinde had a big chance to give Gillingham the lead in the 18th minute. Vadaine Oliver flicked the ball into the path of Lloyd as he got in behind the visitors' defence. He curled a cross towards the six-yard box, and Akinde managed to get on the end of it. However, he fired over the crossbar.
Savin was forced into a save by Max Ehmer in the 26th minute following a Lloyd free-kick. The Gills winger curled it towards the centre of the box, and Ehmer flicked the ball towards the goal. It forced Savin into a quick reaction as he managed to push it away, and an Accrington player headed the ball into touch for a corner, which came to nothing.
Jamie Cumming was called into action for the first time in the 30th minute. Ethan Hamilton received the ball 25 yards from goal and tried his luck with a low-drilled effort towards the bottom corner. Hamilton got a good amount of power on it, but Cumming did well to get down and get a hand on the shot.
On the stroke of half-time, Gillingham somehow failed to take the lead. Ryan Jackson’s cross found Akinde inside the penalty area, and the Gills forward directed a powerful header towards the goal. It forced Savin into a big save as he did well to push it away, and the rebound fell to Oliver. However, he could not hit the target from close range.
HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Accrington Stanley
Gills began the second half on the front foot, and Lloyd forced Savin into a save. The Accrington keeper pushed it as far as Stuart O’Keefe, who saw his effort blocked. The ball ricocheted around the penalty area until Savin managed to keep a hold of it.
Just short of the hour, Cumming produced a vital save to deny Harry Pell. The Accrington midfielder did well to win a header and then latched onto his own flick-on. Pell then volleyed it towards goal from six yards out, and the Chelsea loanee did magnificently to quickly react and pull off the save.
Mustapha Carayol replaced the injured Stuart O’Keefe in the 61st minute, and he almost made an immediate impact. Dempsey laid a free-kick off to the Gills winger, who blasted a low-drilled effort towards the goal. Savin did well to get down to it, but Rhys Bennett looked set to latch onto the rebound. However, an Accrington defender managed to clear away before he could smash home.
The ball somehow did not cross the Accrington goal line with less than ten minutes remaining. Lloyd’s corner deflected towards the goal, and an Accrington player tried to clear his lines but almost smashed into the back of his own net. It was then cleared off the line at the second attempt as Gills were inches away from taking the lead.
Seconds later, Dempsey almost found a late winner. He received the ball from a tight angle and curled it towards the far post. It evaded everybody as it curled across the goal. It hit the inside of the post but bounced away from the back of the net as Savin was left with his heart in his mouth.
FULL-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Accrington Stanley
Gillingham: Cumming, Jackson, Ehmer, Bennett, McKenzie, Tucker, O’Keefe (Carayol 61’), Dempsey, Lloyd, Oliver, Akinde
Unused Substitutes: Chapman, Lintott, Akehurst, Adshead, Reeves, Sithole
Accrington Stanley: Savin, Sykes, Amankwah, Nottingham, Hamilton, O’Sullivan, Conneely, Morgan, McConville, Pell, Bishop
Unused Substitutes: Trafford, Proctor, Leigh, Scully, Mansell, Nolan, Malcolm
Referee: Christopher Pollard