Macauley Bonne opens his Gills account in a 1-1 draw with Mansfield at ME7.
Macauley Bonne scored his first Gillingham goal as the Gills drew 1-1 against Mansfield Town at the Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday.
Bonne scored after two minutes when he side-footed Connor Mahoney's cross into the back of the net from inside the box.
Mansfield equalised controversially when they took a quick free-kick, allowing Davis Keillor-Dunn to go through one-on-one, where he slotted beyond Jake Turner.
Neil Harris made two changes to the side that lost at Doncaster as Jonny Williams and Dom Jefferies returned to the starting XI. Max Ehmer and Tom Nichols dropped to the bench, while George Lapslie returned to the matchday squad.
Bonne scored his first Gillingham goal in the second minute. Gills won possession deep inside the Mansfield half, and Connor Mahoney made his way into the penalty area. He cut the ball back for Bonne, who angled a side-footed volley beyond Christy Pym.
Gills continued to apply the early pressure when Scott Malone's shot from distance was claimed at the second time of asking. Shaun Williams had a half-chance when the ball was headed as far as the Gillingham captain. However, his first-time effort was well-blocked by a Mansfield defender.
Bonne came close to adding a second after good work by Jefferies down the right. He cut it back for Bonne, who tried to curl the ball towards the top corner. However, his attempt was well saved by Pym, who pushed it behind for a corner, which came to nothing.
The visitors had a half-chance in the 27th minute when George Maris' corner was met by a glancing header by Lucas Akins. He headed it across the goal, but no one could get on the end of it as it went out of play for a goal-kick.
Conor Masterson had a good opportunity to make it two-in-two when Mahoney's free-kick fell to the defender inside the box. Unfortunately, he could not keep it down as his effort cleared the crossbar.
Mansfield equalised in the 37th minute. They won a free-kick midway inside the Gillingham half and took it quickly, playing Davis Keillor-Dunn through on goal. He made his way into the box before sliding it beyond the oncoming Jake Turner. The manner of the goal caused much anger among the Gillingham players and supporters.
Moments later, Gillingham won a free-kick and tried to take the set piece quickly. However, Jacob Miles was not happy for that to happen, pulling the ball back to retake the free-kick.
HALF-TIME: Gillingham 1-1 Mansfield Town
Maris had a fantastic opportunity to give the visitors the lead. Ollie Clarke got into the penalty area before cutting it back towards Maris. The forward was sliding as he made contact with the ball but his effort cleared the crossbar.
There was a penalty appeal from the Gillingham faithful in the 58th minute. Shaun Williams did well to shake off the challenge of a Mansfield player before laying it off to Mahoney to shoot. Pym could not keep ahold of his effort as it looked like it would be coming out to Bonne, who was taken out with the ball by a Mansfield defender. The Gillingham fans appealed for a penalty, but the referee gave a corner to the hosts.
Keillor-Dunn forced Turner into a save soon after. His shot from inside the box was palmed away by the Gills keeper. It fell to Clarke, who saw his effort deflected wide for a corner.
Turner denied Keillor-Dunn again in the 61st minute. Lucas Akins took a quick throw to put the attacker through on goal. He opted to shoot towards Turner's near post from a tight angle, and the Gills keeper did well to get down, pushing it behind for a corner, which came to nothing.
In the 63rd minute, Gillingham made a double substitution with Lapslie and Jayden Clarke replacing Jonny Williams and Jefferies.
Turner did incredibly to prevent Keillor-Dunn from scoring his second in the 66th minute. The Mansfield forward latched onto a through ball and was met by Turner, who had come off his line. He opted to try and take it around the Gillingham goalkeeper, but Turner did excellently to get down, clawing it away from Keillor-Dunn before gathering the loose ball.
Aaron Lewis was the next man to have a shot at the Gills goal as the visitors continued to apply pressure. Keillor-Dunn remained at the heart of the action as his pass into the box from the right found Lewis. The midfielder ran onto the ball but could only strike with the outside of his foot as it went wide of the far post.
Gills made another change in the 82nd minute when Ashley Nadesan replaced Mahoney.
Nadesan came close to making an immediate impact when he got on the end of Shaun Williams' corner from the right. Williams' ball was curled towards the six-yard box with Nadesan standing in front of the goalkeeper. He tried to hook it goalward, but his attempt cleared the crossbar.
FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-1 Mansfield Town
Gillingham: Turner, Alexander, Masterson, Ogie, Malone, S. Williams, Coleman, J. Williams (Clarke 63'), Jefferies (Lapslie 63'), Mahoney (Nadesan 82'), Bonne
Unused Substitutes: Morris, Ehmer, McKenzie, Nichols
Mansfield Town: Pym, Bowery, Flint, Brunt, MacDonald (Cargill 46'), Lewis, Reed, Clarke (Swan 80'), Keillor-Dunn (Gale 90+4'), Akins, Maris
Unused Substitutes: Flinders, Johnson, Williams, Boateng
Referee: Jacob Miles
Attendance: 6486 (545 away fans)