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Match Reports

Report | Walsall 4-1 Gillingham

Gills beaten at the Poundland Bescot Stadium.

14 October 2023

Match Reports

Report | Walsall 4-1 Gillingham

Gills beaten at the Poundland Bescot Stadium.

14 October 2023

Gills defeated at Walsall.

Isaac Hutchinson scored a hat-trick as Walsall beat Gillingham 4-1 at The Poundland Bescot Stadium.

Keith Millen made four changes to the starting XI that beat MK Dons in the previous league fixture. Robbie McKenzie replaced Cheye Alexander, who was on international duty with St. Lucia, while Max Clark started in the place of Scott Malone, who missed out due to suspension.

Ashley Nadesan missed out because of injury, while Jayden Clarke was named among the substitutes. Tom Nichols and club captain Shaun Williams returned to the starting XI.

It was a quiet opening ten minutes before Macauley Bonne had two half-chances. McKenzie sent a low cross towards Bonne at the near post from the right, and the Gills forward tried flicking it goalward. The attempt was blocked as the second ball fell back to Bonne, who did well to create space before shooting again. However, his second shot on goal was also blocked by a Walsall defender.

Isaac Hutchinson came close in the 13th minute when he received the ball over 20 yards from the goal. He had the time and space to take a touch before directing a shot goalward, but his low-driven attempt went just wide of Jake Turner’s goal.

Gills had another good half-chance through McKenzie. Connor Mahoney’s free-kick from the right was eventually punched out as far as the defender, who was on the edge of the penalty area. He opted to strike a volley first time, but it deflected off a Gillingham player and went over the bar for a goal-kick.

Walsall had a golden opportunity in the 23rd minute when Ross Tierney weaved his way into the Gillingham penalty area before getting to the byline. He cut a cross back in the direction of Tom Knowles, who was in acres of space at the back post. Fortunately, the oncoming Oisin McEntee tried to get his head on the ball, flicking it just out of the reach of Knowles, allowing Turner to gather the loose ball.

In the 29th minute, Keith Millen was shown a red card by the match referee who felt he had delayed a restart.

Hutchinson gave Walsall the lead in the 34th minute. He received the ball outside of the penalty area before shifting it onto his left foot. He curled the ball into the far corner, leaving Turner rooted to his spot.

Dom Jefferies almost found an immediate response when he picked up the ball 20 yards from goal in a central position. He let a shot fly, but it went over the crossbar, leaving Owen Evans untroubled.

Freddie Draper doubled the Walsall advantage in the 39th minute. Hutchinson did brilliantly to take control of the ball before bringing it forward. He played a through ball for Draper, who slotted it into the far corner.

Evans did incredibly to preserve Walsall’s two-goal advantage in the 42nd minute. Gills took a quick free-kick out to Clark, who dinked the ball towards the back post. It caused a scramble inside the six-yard box with multiple attempts sent goalward before Evans made a brilliant save. The ball eventually came to Ethan Coleman, who saw a powerful low-driven effort well-saved.


HALF-TIME: Walsall 2-0 Gillingham


Gills made one change at the break as Max Ehmer replaced McKenzie. That saw Conor Masterson move out to right-back, with Ehmer playing in the middle with Shad Ogie.

Hutchinson made it three in the 58th minute when he did well to get space inside the penalty area before firing a low-driven effort towards the near post. It had too much power for Turner to keep out as it snuck into the back of the net.

Bonne gave Gillingham a lifeline just after the hour. Jayden Clarke, who replaced Shaun Williams, was played through down the left, and he took the ball to the byline before cutting it back for Mahoney. He got a shot away, which was well-saved by Evans, but the rebound sat perfectly for Bonne to thump into the roof of the net.

Draper came close to making it four as he seemingly beat the offside trap to get on the end of a long ball forward. He hooked it over the oncoming Turner, but the ball bounced off the top of the crossbar before going out for a goal-kick.

Ogie forced a brilliant save out of Evans with little over nine minutes remaining. Masterson’s cross was headed out towards Ogie, who ran onto the ball to strike a 30-yard first-time effort. The defender’s effort had plenty of power as it was angled towards the bottom corner, but Evans did well to get a solid palm to push it wide of the post.

Hutchinson completed his hat-trick in the 85th minute. The hosts caught Gillingham on the counter as the ball was played out to Tierney on the right. He curled the ball toward the back post, where Hutchinson was on hand to guide a header towards the far corner of the net.


FULL-TIME: Walsall 4-1 Gillingham


Walsall: Evans, Riley, Williams, Daniels, Allen, Knowles (Comley 79’), McEntee, Stirk, Hutchinson, Tierney, Draper (Matt 79’)

Unused Substitutes: Smith, James-Taylor, Foulkes, Johnson, Griffiths


Gillingham: Turner, McKenzie (Ehmer 46’), Masterson, Ogie, Clark, S. Williams (Clarke 56’), Jefferies, Coleman, Mahoney (J. Williams 89’), Bonne, Nichols (Lapslie 73’)

Unused Substitutes: Morris, Orji, Chambers



Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 5633 (600 Gillingham supporters)

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