Gills produce a solid away performance to take maximum points at Accrington.
Charlie Kelman and Vadaine Oliver both scored in the second half to ensure Gills came away from the Wham Stadium with a crucial three points following a 2-1 win at Accrington.
Kelman headed Gillingham in front in the 64th minute. Oliver’s initial effort was palmed into the path of the striker, who found the back of the net from close range in front of 254 travelling Gills fans.
Just under ten minutes later, Oliver put the Gills two goals to the good. Dan Phillips’ long ball into the penalty area was met by the quick thinking of Oliver. He out jumped Joe Isherwood to double the visitors' lead.
Before the goals, Gills had Aaron Chapman to thank for keeping them in the game as their hosts put them under pressure to start the second half. Chapman made multiple important saves to keep the score at 0-0.
Heading into stoppage time, Harvey Rodgers was fouled inside the penalty area as Gills conceded a penalty. Colby Bishop stepped up and slotted his spot-kick into the back of the net to set up a nervy ending. However, Gills were resolute and hung on for all three points.
Neil Harris named an unchanged starting XI following the 0-0 draw at home to Sheffield Wednesday in the club’s previous game. Dan Phillips returned to the matchday squad after his three-match ban ended, while Ben Reeves came back in following an injury issue.
Bishop had the first opportunity of the game in the second minute. He struck an effort on the half-volley, but Aaron Chapman was set well to save the shot.
Moments later, Vadaine Oliver had a chance to open the scoring. He won the initial header from Ryan Jackson’s long throw, and Ben Thompson laid it back off to the Gills forward, who aimed for the near post but found the side netting.
In the 13th minute, the visitors had a great chance to take the lead. Oliver won the initial header from Jackson’s long throw, and Joe Isherwood came to claim it. However, he spilt the ball, and it fell into a melee. Jack Tucker got a touch to send it goalward, but Gills were unable to capitalise on the opportunity.
In the 35th minute, Sean McConville almost scored a stunning goal. He received the ball 35 yards from the goal and decided to try his luck. His effort looked as if it was going to cause Chapman an issue, but it flashed just wide of the target.
HALF-TIME: Accrington Stanley 0-0 Gillingham
In the opening stages of the second half, Bishop came close to giving Accrington the lead. He flicked the ball up before attempting an overhead kick near the edge of the penalty area. It caused Chapman a problem as he was forced to back pedal towards his line before he pushed it over the crossbar.
Charlie Kelman forced Isherwood into a save as he tried his luck from long-range. The QPR loanee attempted to catch him out, but the Accrington goalkeeper was equal to it.
Seconds later, Korede Adedoyin should have given Accrington the lead. He managed to get in behind the Gillingham defence and had the entire goal to aim at. He tried to curl it around the oncoming Chapman, but the Gills keeper was equal to it as he got a massive hand onto it to deny the striker.
Chapman was called into action again in the 58th minute. A corner towards the back post was met by Ross Sykes, who directed his header towards the near post. It looked as if it was going to hit the back of the net, but the Gills keeper did an incredible job to somehow claw it off of the line to deny the hosts.
Just on the hour, Dan Phillips came on to replace Stuart O’Keefe, who was forced off due to injury.
In the 64th minute, Kelman headed Gillingham in front. Jackson’s long throw into the penalty area fell to the feet of Oliver, who did brilliantly to turn whilst being held. He was allowed to shoot across the goal, which forced Isherwood to palm it away. However, the rebound fell perfectly for Kelman to head into an empty net.
In the 68th minute, Ethan Hamilton almost came up with an equaliser for the hosts. His effort from 20 yards went through the legs of Jackson, and it looked as if it may sneak into the bottom corner. Fortunately, Chapman did well to get down to it and keep it out.
Five minutes later, Oliver doubled the Gillingham lead. From an initial Jackson throw, the hosts managed to clear their lines. However, it went as far as Phillips, who played it back towards the penalty area. Oliver was the only player to react as he outjumped the oncoming Isherwood, to head into the back of the net.
In the 90th minute, Jackson fouled Harvey Rodgers inside the penalty area to give away a penalty. Bishop stepped up and slotted it down the middle while Chapman dove to his right.
There was a nervy seven minutes of stoppage time as Gills were forced to stand up to the constant pressure from their hosts. However, the visitors were resolute defensively and ensured that Gillingham went back to Kent with all three points.
FULL-TIME: Accrington Stanley 1-2 Gillingham
Accrington Stanley: Isherwood, Rodgers, Hamilton (O’Sullivan 70’), Sykes, Pell (Longelo 88’), Bishop, McConville, Nottingham, Coyle, Clark, Adedoyin (Pritchard 70’)
Unused Substitutes: Hood, Rich-Baghuelou, Butcher, Conneely
Gillingham: Chapman, Jackson, Tucker, Ehmer, Masterson, Tutonda, O’Keefe (Phillips 60’), Lee, Thompson, Kelman (Reeves 89’), Oliver
Unused Substitutes: Dahlberg, Maghoma, Akehurst, Chambers, Dickson-Peters
Referee: Scott Oldham
Attendance: 2764 (253 Gills fans)