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Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 2-1 AFC Wimbledon

Gills come from behind to seal fourth staight home league victory at Priestfield.

25 February 2023

Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 2-1 AFC Wimbledon

Gills come from behind to seal fourth staight home league victory at Priestfield.

25 February 2023

Max Ehmer and Cheye Alexander both find the target in 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon at ME7.

Cheye Alexander’s first EFL goal was a stunning one, as he scored what proved to be the winner in Gillingham’s 2-1 win against AFC Wimbledon at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.

A cross into the box was headed as far as Alexander, who thumped a volley into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Ali Al-Hamadi had initially given The Wombles the lead as his fine curling effort found the far corner.

In the 58th minute, Max Ehmer brought the Gills level. Alex MacDonald’s free-kick from the right was headed goalward by Shaun Williams. His header was denied by a fantastic fingertip save from Nik Tzanev, who pushed it onto the post. Fortunately, the rebound sat perfectly for Ehmer to put the ball into an empty net.

Neil Harris made three changes to the starting XI that beat Rochdale 2-0. Robbie McKenzie missed out due to a knock as David Tutonda returned to the starting line-up. Alex MacDonald and Tom Nichols came into the XI in the place of Shaun Williams and Aiden O’Brien, who dropped to the bench.

Gills were on the front foot in the opening minutes of the match, with much of the action coming down the right hand side. MacDonald had a corner from the right, which he floated towards the back post. Oli Hawkins was the man to meet it but could not get his volley on target as it cleared the crossbar.

Kasey McAteer came close in the seventh minute as Gillingham’s hearts were in their mouths. A corner into the box was cleared as far as the Leicester loanee, who struck it first time with plenty of venom. It took a deflection as it wrong-footed Glenn Morris. Fortunately, it went wide of the post as the initial misdirection seemed as if it was going to hit the target.

Dom Jefferies forced Nik Tzanev into a save after some nice build-up play. Cheye Alexander did brilliantly to keep a hold of possession as he made his way inside before playing it out to Tutonda. The left-back played it down the line for Jefferies, who nutmegged Chris Gunter before making his way into the penalty area. He tried to place the ball towards the bottom corner, but it proved to be a comfortable save for Tzanev.

In the 30th minute, there was a scary moment as Timothee Dieng and Alex Woodyard clashed in the air, leaving both players down with apparent head injuries. After receiving treatment, Dieng could not continue and was replaced by Williams.

In the 42nd minute, the Gills were forced into a second change as Tom Nichols went off with what seemed to be an ankle issue and was replaced by O’Brien.

Harry Pell forced Morris into a save during first-half stoppage time. The ball went towards the edge of the box, and the midfielder went through the back of MacDonald to head it goalward. Morris had to be alert to tip it over the bar, but the nature of how the header was won upset the Gills players and supporters. Fortunately, the resulting corner came to nothing.

MacDonald came inches away from taking the lead in the seventh minute of first-half stoppage time. His free-kick was initially headed away, but the ball came back to him, and he played a one-two with Jefferies. He did well to cut inside onto his right foot as he brought the ball towards a more central position. He curled an effort towards the goal, which Tzanev appeared to get a hand on as it hit the crossbar.


HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 AFC Wimbledon


Ali Al-Hamadi gave AFC Wimbledon the lead in the 52nd minute. Pell played a ball forward, and Al-Hamadi appeared to beat the offside trap and found himself through on goal. He made his way into the penalty area before the Gills got bodies back into the penalty area. However, Al-Hamadi cut inside on his left foot and curled the ball towards the far corner as he put the ball out of the reach of Alexander, who was on the line.

The visitors lead lasted six minutes as Max Ehmer brought the Gills back on level terms. MacDonald curled a free-kick from the right into the box, and Williams did well to get ahead of his marker and head goalward. It took a fantastic fingertip save from Tzanev to push it onto the post, but the rebound fell perfectly for Ehmer, who converted it into an empty net from just a couple of yards out.

In the 68th minute, Alexander gave Gillingham the lead against his former club. A cross from the left was cleared as far as the right back, who found himself 20 yards from the goal. He watched the high looping ball fall before striking it perfectly on the volley as his low-driven effort found the bottom corner.

The visitors almost found an immediate response as they put pressure on the Gillingham penalty area. A ball across the six-yard box was begging for someone to slot it into the back of the net. Fortunately, no one was in the vicinity.

Gills had a good chance to make it three as MacDonald played O’Brien through on goal. He made his way towards the penalty area with an AFC Wimbledon defender keeping up with him. He cut inside on his right foot before curling a shot towards the near post. Unfortunately, it was too central as Tzanev made the save.

Jack Currie was denied by Morris at his near post as the wingback’s low-driven effort was palmed away. Ethan Chislett was the first to the rebound but could only hit the side netting.


FULL-TIME: Gillingham 2-1 AFC Wimbledon


Gillingham: Morris, Alexander, Ehmer, Masterson, Tutdonda, Dieng (Williams 33’), MacDonald (Wright 88’), Jefferies, Lapslie, Nichols (O’Brien 42’), Hawkins

Unused Substitutes: Turner, Adelakun, Gbode, Abrahams


AFC Wimbledon: Tzanev, Gunter, Nightingale, Brown, Currie, Little, Woodyard (Chislett 71’), McAteer (Janneh 77’), Pell (Marsh 81’), Al-Hamadi, Davison (Pearson 77’)

Unused Substitutes: Broome, Pierre


Attendance: 7453 (913 away supporters)

Referee: Neil Hair

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