Vadaine Oliver nets his sixth goal of the season as Gills secure victory at ME7,
The club's leading scorer pounced on an excellent corner from Danny Lloyd inside the last 15 minutes, and guided a header beyond Pontus Dahlberg who got his left leg to it but couldn't keep it out.
The Gills defence stood firm in the latter stages to secure all three points, and a deserved clean sheet.
Steve Evans named an unchanged line-up from the side that lost to Sunderland at the weekend. Jack Tucker started after he picked up a knock following Elliot Embleton’s red card challenge on Saturday.
Kyle Knoyle came close in the opening minutes of the game. He managed to latch onto a pass behind the Gillingham defence but fired into the side netting.
Moments later, Gills caused panic for the Doncaster rearguard. Danny Lloyd got onto the end of a misplaced pass, and Stuart O’Keefe played a cross towards the back post. Doncaster were unable to clear their lines, and Gills had several shots blocked before the visitors committed a foul.
Gills were forced into a substitution in the 25th minute as Mustapha Carayol could not continue following a thigh problem. John Akinde replaced the winger and went up-front with big V.
In the 29th minute, Robbie McKenzie hit the post with a header from the edge of the area. Ryan Jackson’s long throw was headed as far as the edge of the box, and McKenzie came in to head towards goal. It left Pontus Dahlberg diving helplessly as the effort beat him, but it hit the face of the woodwork before bouncing out for a goal kick.
Jordy Hiwula missed a huge chance to give Donny the lead moments later. A long ball went in behind the Gillingham defence, and Hiwula beat Jamie Cumming to it. However, the touch was too heavy, and his attempt to play it across the goal saw it go out of play for a goal-kick.
McKenzie tried his luck from 25 yards deep into first-half stoppage time. A free-kick into the area was cleared as far as the left-back.
He took the ball beyond his man before aiming a shot towards the top corner. Unfortunately, it whistled wide of the target, with Dahlberg stretching for it.
HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Doncaster Rovers
Hiwula forced Cumming into a save from 20 yards out just after the hour, but it was straight at the Chelsea loanee, who made a comfortable save.
Tiago Cukur did well to bring the ball under control before creating space and getting a shot off from the edge of the area. He directed it towards the bottom corner with Cumming stretching, but it went wide of the post and out for a goal-kick.
Kyle Dempsey came close to giving Gillingham the lead in the 77th minute. He did well to run into space before firing the ball towards the back post. It forced Dahlberg into a moment of panic as the ball sailed towards the far corner but missed the target, and Vadaine Oliver at the back post.
Moments later, Gillingham finally took the lead. Lloyd swung a corner towards the front of the six-yard box, and Oliver did well to direct his header towards the goal. Oliver’s effort took a slight deflection off the goalkeeper before nestling in the goal.
Doncaster went in search of a later equaliser, but Gills stood strong to keep them at bay, ensuring a crucial three points and a clean sheet.
FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-0 Doncaster Rovers
Gillingham: Cumming, Jackson, Ehmer (Adshead 46’), Bennett, McKenzie, Tucker, Dempsey, O’Keefe, Carayol (Akinde 25’), Lloyd (Lee 90’), Oliver
Unused Substitutes: Chapman, Kelman, Reeves, Sithole
Doncaster Rovers: Dahlberg, Knoyle (Barlow 90’), Anderson, Williams (Olowu 79’), Close, Rowe, Bostick, Hiwula, Dodoo, Cukur (Smith 76’), Galbraith
Unused Substitutes: Jones, Horton, Hasani
Referee: Sam Purkiss