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Match Reports

Report | Harrogate Town 5-1 Gillingham

Gills beaten at the EnviroVent Stadium.

1 April 2024

Match Reports

Report | Harrogate Town 5-1 Gillingham

Gills beaten at the EnviroVent Stadium.

1 April 2024

Harrogate net five to record victory over Gills.

Matty Daly scored twice as Harrogate Town came from behind to defeat Gillingham 5-1 on Easter Monday.

Stephen Clemence named an unchanged starting XI for the game. Josh Andrews was named among the substitutes for a third successive game, having come off the bench in Gillingham’s previous two fixtures.

Jonny Williams had the first chance of the game in the fourth minute. Remeao Hutton played the ball into the feet of Oli Hawkins, who had his back to goal from around 20 yards out. He did well to turn away from his marker before laying it off to Jonny Williams, who saw his low-driven effort comfortably saved by James Belshaw.

Rod McDonald tried a speculative acrobatic effort after ten minutes. A free-kick into the Gillingham box from the left was headed into the air as far as the defender, who tried his luck with an overhead kick. Fortunately, McDonald’s shot was always rising, as it went well over the crossbar.

Moments later, Connor Mahoney had an opportunity. Max Clark did well to keep the ball in play down the left wing before he switched the ball towards Mahoney, who had the space to run into. The wide man brought the ball towards the penalty area before shooting from around 20 yards. However, a slight deflection took the power out of the shot, with Belshaw making the save.

George Lapslie was the next player to try his luck after Jonny Williams took a quick free-kick. Lapslie had the time and space to shoot from distance, but his strike took a heavy deflection, which allowed Belshaw to catch it.

In the 17th minute, Matty Foulds almost accidentally headed the ball into his own net. Clark delivered a cross from the left that evaded the head of Hawkins. Foulds was the one who made the contact, sending it back towards his own goal. Belshaw had to make sure he had it covered as it went just over the goal.

Glenn Morris did brilliantly to keep the game goalless following a Harrogate corner. McDonald got on the end of Foulds’ delivery, heading goalward, but was denied by a strong save by Morris. The rebound sat up for Josh Marsh, which was also saved.

In the 41st minute, Lapslie headed Gillingham in front. A cross into the box was headed goalward by Lapslie, who saw his effort well saved by Belshaw, tipping the ball onto the crossbar. The rebound bounced in the direction of Lapslie, who met the rebound with a diving header, nodding the ball into an empty net.

The hosts nearly found an immediate response but were denied by a fantastic Max Ehmer block, who threw himself in front of the ball before Gillingham cleared their lines.

Jonny Williams nearly doubled Gillingham’s lead when Hutton fizzed a ball across the Harrogate penalty area. The midfielder threw himself at the ball, attempting to head goalward, but the ball just evaded Jonny Williams.


HALF-TIME: Harrogate Town 0-1 Gillingham


On the hour, Anthony O’Connor equalised for Harrogate. George Thomson saw his initial free-kick headed away, but the second ball came out to Thomson, who curled another cross into the penalty area. O’Connor was the first to meet the ball, thumping his header beyond Morris.

Thomson came close when he tried a speculative effort from around 15 yards. Derrick Abu threw the ball infield for the forward, who had the time and space to set himself before striking a half-volley with an outside-of-the-foot effort. His strike had a wicked curl, but it fizzed over Morris’ goal.

In the 65th minute, Gillingham made a triple substitution. Robbie McKenzie, Jayden Clarke and Andrews replaced Tim Dieng, Jonny Williams and Hawkins respectively.

Matty Daly gave the hosts the lead three minutes later. Thomson cut out an attempted pass forward before playing the ball through for Daly, who had made a run in behind down the left. He brought the ball inside before curling the ball into the far bottom corner from just outside the box.

Things went from bad to worse when Daly scored his second, and Harrogate’s third soon after. Josh March got in behind the Gillingham defence before playing the ball towards the six-yard box. It took a deflection, and Morris also got a hand onto it, but it dropped favourably to Daly, who knocked the ball into an empty net from a couple of yards out.

Abu tried his luck when he shifted the ball onto his left foot before shooting from around 25 yards out. Fortunately, his effort went over the crossbar.

It took a crucial touch from Hutton to prevent Harrogate from scoring a fourth. March played the ball across the six-yard box towards Abraham Odoh, who would have had a simple tap in had Hutton not put the ball out for a corner, which came to nothing.

March was denied by Morris in the final minute of regulation time. The hosts won possession, and Jack Muldoon played it through for March, who was one-on-one with the Gillingham goalkeeper. Morris came well off his line to deny the forward, saving with his feet.

During stoppage time, Muldoon scored the pick of the goals. The striker got on the end of a long ball forward before thumping a half-volley into the top corner at the near post, leaving Morris with no chance of keeping it out. 

Odoh made it five as he was played in behind the Gills's defence before cutting inside onto his right foot and smashing an effort across the goal and into the far corner.


FULL-TIME: Harrogate Town 5-1 Gillingham


Harrogate Town: Belshaw, O’Connor, McDonald, Foulds, Burrell (Abu 61’), Sutton, Dooley (Cornelius 53’), Daly (Muldoon 79’), Sivi (Odoh 53’), Thomson, March

Unused Substitutes: Oxley, Falkingham, Folarin


Gillingham: Morris, Hutton, Ehmer, Masterson, Clark, Dieng (McKenzie 65’), Coleman, J. Williams (Clarke 65’), Lapslie (Walker 75’), Mahoney, Hawkins (Andrews 65’)

Unused Substitutes: Turner, Malone, Ogie


Referee: Simon Mather

Attendance: 3133

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