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Report | Gillingham 1-0 Sutton United

Scott Malone scores a stunning second half winner to give Gills all three points against Sutton at ME7.

29 December 2023

Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 1-0 Sutton United

Scott Malone scores a stunning second half winner to give Gills all three points against Sutton at ME7.

29 December 2023

Scott Malone stunner seals all three points for Gills against Sutton at Priestfield.

Scott Malone came off the bench to score a stunning volley as Gillingham beat ten-man Sutton United 1-0 to end 2023 with a thoroughly deserved victory.

Harry Smith was sent off after 26 minutes at Priestfield following a reckless challenge on Max Ehmer.

It took until the 72nd minute for Gills to find the breakthrough. Mahoney’s cross from the left was headed as far as Malone, who volleyed the ball into the top corner, leaving Dean Bouzanis with no chance.

Stephen Clemence made three changes following the Boxing Day defeat to Crawley, as Max Clark and Dom Jefferies returned to the starting XI. Oli Hawkins made his first start of the season, leading the line with Ashley Nadesan. Scott Malone and Tom Nichols dropped to the bench, while Tim Dieng missed out due to injury.

Nadesan had a great chance to open the scoring in the eighth minute. Sutton were indecisive about attacking a ball forward, which allowed Nadesan to latch onto it. He raced into the visitors penalty area before firing a shot towards the far corner. It seemed to be going in but snuck just wide of the post via the fingertips of Dean Bouzanis.

From the resulting corner, Hawkins headed over the crossbar from a little over six yards out.

In the 18th minute, Jonny Williams was denied by a late deflection. Jefferies made his way into the box before squaring the ball across the penalty area. It evaded everybody before coming to Clark, who was on the end of a hefty challenge. The loose ball fell to Jonny Williams, who struck a first-time effort that was seemingly going in until it took a last-gasp deflection to send it just beyond the post.

In the 26th minute, Harry Smith was shown a straight red card for what was a reckless challenge on Max Ehmer, leaving the Gillingham captain needing treatment before being okay to continue.

Hawkins forced a good save out of Bouzanis as Gills went in search of the opening goal. A cross from the left was met by the head of Hawkins, who angled the ball down towards the bottom corner. However, it was met by a strong save by Bouzanis, who reacted quickly to get down and push it away from the danger.

In the 45th minute, Gills were forced into a first change when Jonny Williams seemingly picked up a knock earlier in the half. He was replaced by Connor Mahoney.

During first-half stoppage time, Hawkins had another good opportunity. Cheye Alexander delivered a cross deep into the Sutton penalty area, which was met by the head of Hawkins. Unfortunately, he could not keep his effort down as it went over the crossbar.


HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Sutton United


Lee Angol was denied by a vital sliding block by Conor Masterson in the 54th minute. The visitors won possession high up the pitch, and Angol made his way into the penalty area. He shifted the ball onto his left foot to get a clearer shot at goal. The striker angled the ball towards the far corner, but it was blocked by the sliding Masterson, who timed his block perfectly. The ball then popped up in the air, allowing Jake Turner to come and claim the loose ball.

Hawkins had another good chance when Clark’s cross deep into the penalty area found the striker. Unfortunately, he could not angle his header on target, heading it wide from close range.

In the 63rd minute, Gills made three substitutions, as Nichols, Malone and Jayden Clarke replaced Nadesan, Clark and Alexander respectively.

Ethan Coleman had a half-chance when Clarke’s cross was headed as far as the midfielder, who was over 20 yards from the goal. He got the required power on the effort, but it went over the bar.

In the 72nd minute, Gillingham finally broke the Sutton resistence. Mahoney received a short corner on the left and curled a cross into the penalty area. The ball was headed as far as Malone, who angled a first-time volley towards the top corner. His effort smacked off the woodwork before finding the back of the net, with his incredible strike leaving Bouzanis rooted to his spot.

Omari Patrick forced Turner into a save during stoppage time when he curled an effort from the edge of the penalty area. Fortunately, it lacked the power to truly test the Gillingham goalkeeper, who made a routine save.


FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-0 Sutton United


Gillingham: Turner, Alexander (Clarke 63’), Masterson, Ehmer, Ogie, Clark (Malone 63’), Jefferies (Lapslie 81’), Coleman, J. Williams (Mahoney 45’), Nadesan (Nichols 62’), Hawkins

Unused Substitutes: Morris, Bonne


Sutton United: Bouzanis, Jackson, Kizzi, Milsom, Goodliffe (Sowunmi 46’), Clay, Fadahunsi (N’Guessan 46’), Beautyman (Hart 77’), Pereira (Angol 31’), O’Brien (Patrick 66’), Smith

Unused Substitutes: Arnold, Hart


Referee: David Rock

Attendance: 6334 (309 away fans)

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