Gills create good chances at Priestfield but unable to find a way through stubborn Walsall at ME7.
Gills were unable to find a winner as they were held to a 0-0 draw against Walsall at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.
Lewis Walker came inches away from winning the game just seconds after coming on. He latched onto a long ball forward and his shot beat Owen Evans, but hit the post and Gills were unable to capitalise on the rebound.
Neil Harris made one change after the loss to Harrogate in midweek as Cheye Alexander came into the starting XI in place of Olly Lee.
In the 11th minute, Gills had a penalty appeal as Jordan Green was clattered by Owen Evans as he chased down a loose ball. The referee immediately stopped the game to have both players medically checked but awarded a drop ball in favour of the visitors.
Tom Knowles tried his luck from 25 yards in the 32nd minute, but his speculative effort went well wide of the target.
Walsall had another opportunity in the 42nd minute as Donervon Daniels came close. Gills could not clear a cross into the box, and the ball eventually fell to Daniels on the edge of the area. He tried curling it towards the top corner, but it went over the crossbar, leaving Glenn Morris untroubled.
HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Walsall
Ben Reeves had Gillingham’s first opportunity of the game in the 52nd minute. Hakeeb Adelakun latched onto a loose ball down the right and cut the ball back to the midfielder on the edge of the box. He moved the ball onto his left foot before shooting but cleared the crossbar.
Max Ehmer had a great opportunity moments later. Mikael Mandron did well to bring the ball under his control before playing it into the path of Ehmer. He had to stretch to get his shot away as Evans got a hand on it to push it away.
Adelakun forced Evans into another save in the 59th minute. He brought the ball forward before cutting inside on his right foot. He opted to shoot from nearly 30 yards, and it gave Evans a problem as he could not claim it at the first attempt. However, he got it the second time with Reeves closing in.
Gills came within inches of falling behind in the 64th minute. A cross from the left evaded both Morris and Andy Williams and went towards the back post. Hayden White was the man around the back that got the touch to send it goalward. However, it hit the post before trickling into the path of Morris.
Stuart O’Keefe was the next man to have a chance for Gills as he won possession midway inside the Walsall half. He brought the ball into the box himself but could not find the target.
Lewis Walker was brought on in the 86th minute and almost made an immediate impact. A long ball forward saw the striker get in behind the Walsall defence. He closed in on goal with defenders closing in on him, and he got his shot away. However, it hit the post, and Walsall were able to clear the rebound with multiple Gillingham players chasing the loose ball.
With the game heading into stoppage time, Danny Johnson almost won it for the visitors. He managed to create some room for himself just inside the penalty area. His effort had plenty of power but Morris did well to stand his ground and make the save.
FULL-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Walsall
Gillingham: Morris, Alexander, Wright, Ehmer, Baggott, Law (Tutonda 86’), O’Keefe, Reeves, Adelakun (Kashket 73’), Green, Mandron (Walker 86’)
Unused Substitutes: Turner, MacDonald, Lee
Walsall: Evans, White, Daniels, Monthe, Clarke, Knowles (Hutchinson 66’), Comley, Kinsella, Maher (Bennett 58’), Williams (Abraham 66’), Johnson
Unused Substitutes: Przybek, James-Taylor, Earing, Clarke
Referee: Mr R Madely
Attendance: 3917 (333 Away supporters)