Gillingham return to the play-off places in Sky Bet League 2 following a 1-0 win over AFC Wimbledon at ME7.
Conor Masterson scored a late winner as Gillingham beat AFC Wimbledon 1-0 at the Priestfield Stadium.
The game was delayed by over 20 minutes during the second half due to a power cut, causing the floodlights to go down.
Once play resumed, 24 minutes of stoppage time was added on, with Masterson scoring in the 18th minute to put Gillingham back in the play-off places.
Jonny Williams curled a free-kick into the penalty area from the left, where substitute Macauley Bonne headed down into the path of the defender, who prodded the ball beyond Alex Bass in the AFC Wimbledon goal.
Stephen Clemence made three changes from Saturday’s defeat at Tranmere, with Max Ehmer returning to captain the side. Tim Dieng and Jayden Clarke also returned to the starting XI, as George Lapslie, Jonny Williams, and Shad Ogie dropped to the bench.
The ball almost fell perfectly to Tom Nichols in the 13th minute. A long ball forward went over the head of an AFC Wimbledon defender, and Nichols looked ready to latch onto the bouncing ball. Unfortunately, as he looked to strike the ball, Isaac Ogundere came around to get to it first, taking it away from the Gillingham striker.
Jake Reeves had the first opportunity of note in the 20th minute. After a good move by the visitors, Reeves received the ball just outside the penalty area. He took it forward before striking, but his effort towards the far corner went over the crossbar.
In the 30th minute, the visitors were a touch away from taking the lead. Jack Currie was quick to spot the run of Omar Bugiel as he threw the ball to the forward towards the byline. Bugiel flashed the ball across the face of the goal in the direction of Ali Al-Hamadi, but fortunately for the Gills, he could not get on the end of it as the ball went away from the goal.
Armani Little had a half-chance in the 42nd minute after Jake Turner punched a corner clear. The ball fell to Little, who appeared to have a clear shot at the goal until Clarke came in to put pressure on the midfielder, who put his effort over the bar.
HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 AFC Wimbledon
Connor Mahoney’s free-kick caused The Wombles issues at the beginning of the second half. The winger curled a cross towards the penalty area from the left towards the head of Ehmer, who had peeled away from his man. The ball evaded the defender before going towards the back post, where Ethan Coleman could not get a touch and it went out of play for a goal-kick.
Gills made a double change in the 58th minute, as Lapslie and Jonny Williams replaced Dieng and Clarke.
Mahoney had a shot at goal shortly afterwards. Joe Lewis’ headed clearance fell to Scott Malone, who sent a deep cross for Mahoney. The winger did well to get an effort away but cleared the goal with his shot.
In the 65th minute, there was a power cut in the local area, causing the floodlights to turn off.
The game restarted in the 87th minute, and during the first seconds of the 24 minutes of additional time, the visitors came close to finding the opener. Turner went to punch a cross from the left clear, but James Tilley beat him to the ball, heading it goalward. It appeared to be looping towards the line with an AFC Wimbledon forward bearing down to force it across. However, Ehmer did enough to put the visiting forward off before Turner gathered the loose ball.
Al-Hamadi came close when the visitors broke forward on the counter. The striker took the ball towards the penalty area before unleashing a powerful effort towards the near post. Fortunately, he could only rifle his effort wide of the target, leaving Turner untroubled.
In the 13th minute of stoppage time, Lapslie had a fantastic opportunity. Gills broke forward from an AFC Wimbledon corner, and the ball was played down the right for Mahoney, who did well to get beyond his man before getting to the byline and sending a cross into the penalty area. Lapslie was unmarked but could only head straight at Alex Bass.
Al-Hamadi came inches away from giving AFC Wimbledon the lead seconds later as he continued to cause issues. He made his way towards the penalty area before cutting onto his left foot before dragging an effort towards the near post. It beat Turner but hit the post before trickling away from the Gillingham goal.
Macauley Bonne replaced Mahoney during the 17th minute of stoppage time and made an immediate impact. Jonny Williams curled a free-kick from the left into the penalty area, and Bonne headed it down into the path of Conor Masterson, who made no mistake in prodding the ball beyond Bass and into the bottom corner.
In the 29th minute of stoppage time, the referee finally blew the final whistle as the Gills earned a massive three points.
FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-0 AFC Wimbledon
Gillingham: Turner, Alexander, Ehmer, Masterson, Malone, Coleman, Dieng (Lapslie 58’), Jefferies, Clarke (J. Williams 58’), Mahoney (Bonne 90+17’), Nichols (Nadesan 90+6’)
Unused Substitutes: Morris, Clark, Ogie
AFC Wimbledon: Bass, Ogundere (Sasu 90+25’), Lewis, Johnson, Currie, Reeves, Tilley (Neufville 90+3’), Little, Lemonheigh-Evans (Ball 90+25’), Al-Hamadi, Buigel (Davison 90+19’)
Unused Substitutes: Tzanev, Brown, Pearce
Referee: Lee Swabey
Attendance: 5747 (548 away fans)