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Report | Gillingham 0-2 Crawley Town

Gills leave Priestfield empty handed as Crawley win Boxing Day clash.

26 December 2023

Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 0-2 Crawley Town

Gills leave Priestfield empty handed as Crawley win Boxing Day clash.

26 December 2023

Crawley clinch victory at Priestfield.

Will Wright and Jack Roles scored in either half as Crawley Town beat Gillingham 2-0 at the Priestfield Stadium on Boxing Day.

Stephen Clemence made multiple changes and changed shape too, going to a back five as Cheye Alexander and Shad Ogie re-entered the starting XI. Ethan Coleman, Tim Dieng and Jonny Williams occupied the midfield positions, while Ashley Nadesan and Tom Nichols led the line in attack.

Dieng had Gillingham’s first half-chance in the 17th minute. The midfielder won possession just inside the Crawley half, making his way forward before playing it to Nichols, who then slipped it through to Nadesan. The striker spotted the unmarked run of Dieng on the right and passed it to the midfielder, who shot from just inside the penalty area. Unfortunately, he did not make the required contact, slicing it wide of the target.

Conor Masterson did brilliantly to deny Harry Ransom a few minutes later. A cross into the box from the right seemed to be falling to Ransom to volley at goal. However, Masterson bravely stepped in to take the brunt of the contact to block the effort before the referee awarded a free-kick for a high foot.

Moments later, the visitors had a huge penalty appeal. Crawley won the ball outside Gillingham’s box, and Klaidi Lolos broke towards the box. Scott Malone brought down Lolos as he was making his way into the penalty area, with the visitors convinced it was inside the box.

Instead, the referee awarded a free-kick.

From the resulting set piece, former Gillingham defender Will Wright fired the Red Devils in front. The ball was positioned to the right of the box from a little over 18 yards, and Wright smashed his effort into the opposite top corner of the net, leaving Jake Turner with little chance of keeping it out.

Gills thought they had found an equaliser during first-half stoppage time when Masterson had the ball in the back of the net. A free-kick towards the penalty area was flicked on into the path of the defender, who then fired across the goal and into the back of the net. Unfortunately, it was ruled out for offside.


HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-1 Crawley Town


Danilo Orsi had the first shot of the second half. The ball came to the forward just outside the penalty area, and he curled an effort towards the far top corner. Fortunately, it went just wide of the post, with Turner beaten.

In the 55th minute, Masterson went on a surging run towards the Crawley penalty area. He did well to get beyond multiple players before shooting from around 20 yards. However, his effort lacked the power to test Corey Addai.

Nadesan flicked over the bar from just a few yards out, following a Malone corner. The ball was curled towards the back post from the right, where Max Ehmer headed it down into the path of Nadesan, who could not keep his attempt down.

The ball somehow failed to find the back of the net moments later. Alexander’s cross from the right went all the way across to Malone, who brought it down before firing a low-driven effort towards the far bottom corner. Addai pulled off a strong save, but the rebound came out to Jonny Williams, who saw his shot blocked. The rebound then hit a Crawley player before the visitors cleared their lines.

Williams had another good chance as Gillingham stepped up the pressure. Nadesan laid it off for the midfielder, who shot goalward. Jonny Williams’ effort had plenty of power but was well saved by Addai.

Ade Adeyemo replaced Lolos and forced Turner into a save when he was given the time and space to shoot from around 25 yards. Fortunately, his shot lacked the power to test Turner, who got down to make the routine save.

Nadesan had a huge chance to get Gillingham level when he beat the offside trap to get in behind the Crawley defence. He got to the ball ahead of Addai before prodding it around the goalkeeper. Unfortunately, he put it too wide of the goal, leaving him at too tight of an angle to hit the target.

Jack Roles came on in the 69th minute and made an immediate impact, doubling Crawley’s advantage. He shot from a tight angle, and his effort took a huge deflection, sending it into the back of the net.


FULL-TIME: Gillingham 0-2 Crawley Town


Gillingham: Turner, Alexander (Clarke 72’), Masterson (Hawkins 81’), Ehmer, Ogie, Malone, Coleman, Dieng (Lapslie 64’), J. Williams (Mahoney 72’), Nichols, Nadesan

Unused Substitutes: Morris, Clark, Bonne


Crawley Town: Addai, Ransom, Conroy, Maguire, Gordon (Roles 69’), Wright, Lolos (Adeyemo 64’), Tsaroulla, Darcy, Campbell, Orsi (Swyer 89’)

Unused Substitutes: Ashby-Hammond, Henry, Mukena, Khaleel


Referee: Ben Atkinson

Attendance: 7150 (288 away fans)

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