Gills claim maximum points at home following excellent performance.
Scott Kashket's goal on his home debut at ME7 was enough to help seal a 1-0 win for the Gills against Rochdale on Saturday.
The former Wycombe man guided a header beyond Richard O'Donnell in the ninth minute, and Gills virtually commanded proceedings from that point on, with Dale restricted to half chances at best.
Neil Harris made one change to the side that lost at AFC Wimbledon on the opening day with Ben Reeves coming in for Dominic Jefferies. Lewis Walker received international clearance in time to take a place on the bench, alongside Alex MacDonald.
Shaun Williams was named the Captain with Stuart O’Keefe absent due to injury.
The early exchanges were competitive with both sides trying to seize the initiative and stamp their authority on the game, but it was the hosts who got their noses in front when a free-kick, taken by Will Wright, was delivered towards the near post and Kashket did well to guide his header beyond O’Donnell.
Morris did well to tip over a header from Toumani Diagouraga to force a corner which Gills cleared, and O’Donnell pulled off an equally important save on the half hour at the other end to deny Shaun Williams when his left footed drive was pushed clear of danger.
Gills controlled proceedings until the break with Jordan Green in particular a constant threat, but Rochdale went into the break just one behind.
H/T: Gillingham 1-0 Rochdale
The second half started as the first had ended, with Gills well on top, and a couple of early corners had to be well defended in order for the status quo to be maintained. Rochdale gradually worked their way forwards and began to ask more questions, however the hosts had the answers on every occasion.
Ben Reeves went close to adding a second for the hosts when, following good work from Green, his left footed effort was palmed away by O’Donnell. Mandron also had a good chance when Wright’s ball from the right was narrowly headed over from close range, with the ball perhaps a touch high for the Gills number nine.
Gills defended brilliantly in the last 15 minutes to see the game out and clinch their first win of the season.
F/T: Gillingham 1-0 Rochdale
Gills: Morris, Wright, Ehmer, Baggott, Law, Lee, Williams, Kashket (Alexander 90+3), Green (MacDonald 83), Reeves, Mandron (Walker 79).
Unused subs: Turner, Akehurst, Tutonda
Rochdale: O’Donnell, Seiki, White (Sinclair 68), Ebanks-Landell, Ball, Rodney, Brierley (Odoh 62), Graham, Diagouraga, John, Henderson.
Unused subs: Slicker, Taylor, Scanlon, Nelson, McNulty
Referee: Mr W Finnie
Attendance: 4233 (169 Dale)