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Report | Swindon Town 3-3 Gillingham

Gills take a point back to Kent following entertaining game at the County Ground.

28 January 2023

Match Reports

Report | Swindon Town 3-3 Gillingham

Gills take a point back to Kent following entertaining game at the County Ground.

28 January 2023

The points are shared at the County Ground following a lively 3-3 draw.

Gills came away from the County Ground with a well-deserved point in what was a goal-fest in a 3-3 draw against Swindon Town on Saturday.

Jonny Williams had initially given Swindon the lead in the first minute, but Timothee Dieng headed Gillingham level two minutes later.

Will Wright then scored a penalty as he slotted the ball into the bottom corner as he sent Solomon Brynn the wrong way. Tom Nichols then scored his third Gillingham goal in as many games as his deft touch sent the ball into the far corner, following Alex MacDonald’s free-kick.

Charlie Austin scored a second-half brace as, first, his penalty went just underneath Glenn Morris, then his equaliser with 12 minutes to go was a bullet header which left the Gills keeper with no chance.

Neil Harris named the same starting XI that won away at Colchester, while Scott Kashket returned to the bench. Conor Masterson was named among the substitutes, having signed on loan from QPR earlier in the week.

Jonny Williams gave Swindon the lead after 59 seconds. A cross into the box was headed away by Robbie McKenzie, but the ball sat perfectly for Williams to strike. He hit it with plenty of power and it hit the inside of the post before crossing the line.

Gills produced an immediate response as Timothee Dieng put them back on level terms. McKenzie played the ball down the right to Tom Nichols, who beat the offside trap. He then floated the ball towards the middle of the penalty area, where Dieng ran onto the ball unchallenged and headed the ball into the bottom corner.

In the seventh minute, the away side were awarded a penalty. A free-kick into the penalty area was flicked on into the path of Max Ehmer, who sent a shot goalward. It hit a Swindon defender from point-blank range, and the referee pointed to the penalty spot for an apparent handball.

Will Wright was the one to take the spot-kick and made no mistake. He calmly slotted his spot kick into the bottom left corner as Solomon Brynn went the opposite way.

It was three in the 13th minute, as Nichols made it three-in-three in his Gillingham career. MacDonald took a free-kick from the left, which he curled in the direction of the six-yard box. Nichols got across a defender and got a slight touch to direct it into the far corner and out of the reach of Brynn.

Dieng forced the Swindon stopper into a save from 20 yards as Gills continued their fine start to the game. A direct ball into the box was headed down by Oli Hawkins into the path of Nichols, who laid it off for Dieng to shoot. The midfielder tried to curl it into the corner, but it was at a comfortable height for the Swindon keeper.

Hawkins kept the Gillingham two-goal lead intact as he cleared a header away from the goal following a Swindon corner just after the half-hour mark.

Charlie Austin had a good opportunity during first-half stoppage time. Remeao Hutton played a cross into the box, and Austin did well getting across Shaun Williams before hooking it goalward. Fortunately, he could not get it on target as it went wide of the post.


HALF-TIME: Swindon Town 1-3 Gillingham


Saidou Khan forced Morris into a diving save in the early stages of the second half. The midfielder was allowed to shoot from distance as his effort had plenty of power. However, Morris did well to get down and palm it away from danger.

In the 57th minute, Swindon were awarded a penalty. Gills could not clear their lines, and a shot hit Wright from point blank range. The home fans, and players, appealed for a handball, and Paul Howard pointed to the spot.

Austin stepped up, and Morris got a hand on the striker’s spot-kick, but it squeezed underneath the keeper and trickled over the line.

In the 78th minute, Austin scored an equaliser. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy curled a ball into the box from the left, which Austin did well to get across his marker and thump a header beyond Morris.

Three minutes later, Khan was sent off for a second yellow card. George Lapslie, who had replaced Nichols, did well to get beyond a couple of players before being brought down by the midfielder. After being booked in the first half for a challenge on Williams, it left the referee with no choice but to brandish the second yellow card.

With the game heading into stoppage time, Morris pulled off an incredible save to deny Hepburn-Murphy. The hosts broke forward from a Gills throw and had a three-on-two as the ball was played through to the forward. He made his way towards the box and tried to slot the ball underneath the oncoming Morris. However, the Gills keeper did brilliantly to get down and get a hand on it to put it behind for a corner.

From the resulting corner, it took a crucial block to deny Tyrese Shade as the ball eventually fell to him. He struck the ball with plenty of venom, but a Gills defender through his body on the line to send it wide of the post.

Late on, a Gills throw landed at the feet of Lapslie. But with several Swindon players surrounding him, he was unable to turn and shoot. He attempted to offload to an arriving blue shirt, but the hosts cleared.


FULL-TIME: Swindon Town 3-3 Gillingham


Swindon Town: Brynn, Hutton, Iandolo (Shade 46’), Williams (Hepburn-Murphy 46’), Blake-Tracy, Lavinier, Khan, Wakeling (Darcy 72’), Brennan (Minturn 74’), Austin, Jephcott (Cain 46’)

Unused Substitutes: Copland, Kanu


Gillingham: Morris, McKenzie, Wright, Ehmer, Tutonda, Williams, MacDonald (Masterson 62’), Jefferies (Kashket 86’), Dieng, Nichols (Lapslie 73’), Hawkins

Unused Substitutes: Turner, Alexander, Adelakun, Gbode


Referee: Paul Howard

Attendance: 10,259 (961 Gillingham supporters)

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