Oxford net seven at Priestfield.
Gills were well beaten at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday as four Cameron Brannagan penalties saw Oxford win convincingly.
Steve Lovell made two changes from the side that drew to Shrewsbury on Tuesday. Danny Lloyd and Mustapha Carayol came into the starting XI in place of Daniel Phillips and John Akinde.
In the second minute, Charlie Kelman came close to putting Gillingham in front. Olly Lee’s cross into the box eventually found its way to the QPR loanee just outside the box, who drilled a shot towards the near post. However, he could not find the target as it went just wide of Jack Stevens’ near post.
Billy Bodin gave Oxford the lead in the eighth minute. Gills lost possession just inside the visitors’ half, and they broke in numbers. Mark Sykes received the ball off Marcus McGuane before slotting it to Bodin, who fired into the bottom corner.
Just minutes later Oxford won a penalty after Olly Lee’s sliding tackle on Matty Taylor. Cameron Brannagan stepped up and slotted the penalty into the back of the net, sending Pontus Dahlberg the wrong way.
In the 19th minute, Oxford made it three. Bodin’s free-kick towards the six-yard box was met by Taylor and he headed home from close range.
Kyle Dempsey tested Stevens in the 26th minute, but his effort from 25 yards was straight at the Oxford keeper.
HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-3 Oxford United
In the 47th minute, Dahlberg gave away a penalty after dragging down Brannagan inside the penalty area. The same player stepped up and slotted the spot kick down the middle as the Swede went the other way.
In the 54th minute, Oxford won another penalty after Jack Tucker brought down Sam Long. Brannagan completed his hat-trick of penalties as he sent Dahlberg the wrong way again.
Danny Lloyd scored for the Gills in the 62nd minute. He did well to persist and win the ball off an Oxford defender outside the box. He saw his initial shot saved by Stevens but passed the rebound into an empty net.
Gills reacted well after scoring the goal as Lloyd came close again. Some nice work from a corner saw Dempsey play the ball to Lloyd in space inside the area. The wide man cut onto his left foot and tried to beat Stevens at his near post, but he was equal to the effort.
Oxford were awarded another penalty in the 82nd minute as Daniel Phillips was judged to have handled the ball inside the box. Brannagan stepped up and smashed it into the roof of the net to grab his fourth of the match.
Robbie McKenzie scored Gillingham’s second minutes later. Lloyd’s free-kick was parried into the path of McKenzie, who headed into the back of an empty net.
The visitors found a seventh moments later, as Anthony Forde converted from close range after Ryan Williams’ low cross into the penalty area.
FULL-TIME: Gillingham 2-7 Oxford United
Gillingham: Dahlberg, Jackson, Ehmer, Tucker, McKenzie, O’Keefe, Dempsey, Lee (Phillips 56’), Lloyd, Carayol (Sithole 76’), Kelman
Unused Substitutes: Chapman, Tutonda, Masterson, Lintott, Dickson-Peters
Oxford United: Stevens, Long, Moore, Brannagan, Taylor (Winnall 56’), Sykes, McNally, McGuane, Bodin (Forde 84’), Holland (Williams 59’), Seddon
Unused Substitutes: Eastwood, Mousinho, Davis
Referee: Robert Madley
Attendance: 4985 (650 Oxford)