A young Gills XI put in an excellent performance at the Bauvill Stadium to see off Chatham.
A Matty Macarthur brace in the first-half helped Gills along their way to an impressive 3-0 win over Chatham Town at the Bauvill Stadium on Friday night.
Macarthur opened the scoring with an excellent free-kick before firing home a precise right footed effort just outside the box shortly after.
The visitors made several changes at the interval but it didn’t halt their tempo, with Ronald Sithole adding a third on 50 minutes following good play by Julien Kuhr. Tobey Smith made an excellent save to keep his clean sheet with Gills unlucky not to add to their tally with Josh Bayliss denied midway through the second half.
Mark Moss took charge and named Matt Macarthur, Freddie Carter and Alex Giles in the starting XI with Josh Bayliss, Stan Skipper and Kuhr among the substitute options.
The game was just a few minutes old when Gills took the lead. Dempsey was fouled on the left side having won possession high up the field, he won a foul and Macarthur decided to go for goal. His right footed effort was expertly struck, it went up and over the wall and it had too much pace for the keeper whose dive was in vein, who couldn’t help stop the ball hitting the back of the net.
A few minutes later and the lead was nearly doubled when Kai Garrett skipped away from his man near the touchline on the left side; he was able to drive into the space and into the penalty area. His left footed shot across goal was just wide, with the keeper rooted to the spot.
With twenty minutes on the clock the visitors bagged their second, and it was Macarthur on target once again. Garrett came forward with the ball, took a heavy touch and lost it but was persistent and effective in winning it back. His pass to Sithole saw him find Macarthur whose low right footed effort from outside the box found the opposite corner with incredible precision.
Garrett came close to netting a third but, after connecting with a cross from the right side, the ball went wide of the right post.
Chatham asked more questions towards the end of the half, their best opportunity coming seconds before the break when a close range effort was blazed over the bar.
The second half started as the first had, with a Gills goal. Julien Kuhr, who had come on at half-time, skipped past his man to the right byline and had the composure to pull the ball back towards Ronald Sithole, who thundered an effort past the goalkeeper from eight yards to all but settle proceedings.
It was nearly four moments later when Skipper and Bayliss, both half-time subs, combined through the middle. Bayliss went through on goal, just left of centre, but the Chatham number one made an excellent stop.
Chatham created a couple of half chances but were unable to find a way past Smith who looked calm and assured between the sticks. The keeper made an excellent save with his right hand to thwart a one-on-one opportunity before his defence cleared the second ball. The hosts enjoyed a lot of possession in the closing stages but Gills remained defensively resolute to keep their clean sheet.
Chatham starting XI: Ellis, Robinson, Weston, Butler, Sheminant, Everett, Robins, Ogunseye, Oloyede, Domafriyie, Bradshaw
Subs: Brooks, Blanks, Orgi, Allan, Broad, Garlinge, Bodkin, Thompson, Strouts
Gills: T Smith, Webster, Giles, Carter (Taiwu-Pratt HT), Dempsey (Kuhr HT), Gale (Woodliffe 76), Moore (de Wilde HT), Sithole, Murray (Skipper HT), Garrett (Hutcheon HT), Macarthur (Bayliss HT)
Unused subs: Holtam