Gills leave Wales empty handed after Wrexham defeat.
Ollie Palmer and Ben Tozer were the Wrexham scorers with Gills falling to 2-0 defeat at the Stok Cae Ras.
Stephen Clemence named an unchanged starting XI from the FA Cup win at Hereford for his first league fixture in charge. Tim Dieng and George Lapslie were both among the substitutes.
Ollie Palmer gave Wrexham the lead in the first minute. Gillingham could not clear a cross into their penalty area, and the loose ball eventually fell to Palmer, who had an empty net to slot the ball with his first effort being saved by Turner.
In the 12th minute the Gills had a half-chance when Dom Jefferies spotted Jonny Williams in acres of space down the left. The former Wales international made his way into the Wrexham penalty area before seeing an attempt from a tight angle blocked for a corner.
From the resulting corner, Shad Ogie had a golden opportunity to equalise. Williams’ corner from the left was cleared as far as Cheye Alexander, who played it wide to Jefferies. He curled a cross into the penalty area. The ball fell to Macauley Bonne, who saw his attempt blocked, but the second ball fell to Ogie in acres of space inside the penalty area.
Unfortunately, he could not hit the target as he fired his shot wide of the far post.
In the 33rd minute, Palmer had a good chance to score his second of the game. Elliot Lee found Sam Dalby, who then played Palmer through ball into the penalty area. The Wrexham forward got in behind the Gillingham defence before firing wide of Jake Turner’s near post.
Turner had to be alert in the 39th minute when Ethan Coleman sliced an attempted clearance off Palmer’s cross. The clearance went behind the midfielder, but fortunately, Turner quickly got across to catch the ball on his line.
Gills had a huge penalty appeal in first-half stoppage time when Scott Malone’s shot hit the arm of a Wrexham defender. There were appeals from Gillingham players and the visiting support, but the referee waved away the claims.
HALF-TIME: Wrexham 1-0 Gillingham
George Evans tried a speculative effort in the 53rd minute when Wrexham won the ball on the halfway line. Evans spotted Turner off his line and tried to lob the Gillingham keeper, but his effort did not have enough height, with Turner catching with relative ease.
Turner did brilliantly to deny Palmer after Jacob Mendy intercepted a wayward pass. Mendy took it down the line before floating a cross towards the back post, where Palmer was unmarked. The striker angled his header towards the far corner, forcing Turner to get across at full stretch to claw the ball away from the goal.
In the 62nd minute, Jayden Clarke did well to get on the end of a ball forward before carrying it into the penalty area. He took it beyond his man before shooting with his left foot. Clarke’s attempt was too central as Arthur Okonkwo made the save, claiming it at the second attempt.
Moments later Dieng came on, replacing Clarke. The midfielder would slot into the centre of midfield, with Connor Mahoney going out wide.
Ben Tozer doubled Wrexham’s advantage after 71 minutes. Mendy managed to get away down the left before delivering a low cross towards the near post. Tozer got onto the end of the cross, smashing it into the back of the net.
The visitors made a double change in the 75th minute, with Lapslie and Tom Nichols replacing Mahoney and Jonny Williams.
FULL-TIME: Wrexham 2-0 Gillingham
Wrexham: Okonkwo, Hayden (Tunnicliffe 85’), Tozer, O’Connor, Forde, Jones, Evans, Lee (Davies 88’), Mendy, Palmer, Dalby
Unused Substitutes: Howard, Boyle, McAlinden, Cannon, Bickerstaff
Gillingham: Turner, Alexander, Masterson, Ogie, Malone, Coleman, Jefferies, Mahoney (Lapslie 75’), Clarke (Dieng 63’), J. Williams (Nichols 75’), Bonne
Unused Substitutes: Morris, Clark, Ehmer, S. Williams
Referee: Will Finnie
Attendance: 10,268 (1148 Gillingham supporters)