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Report | Mansfield Town 2-1 Gillingham

Mansfield score twice in the space of four second-half minutes to end Gills hopes of a play-off position.

20 April 2024

Match Reports

Report | Mansfield Town 2-1 Gillingham

Mansfield score twice in the space of four second-half minutes to end Gills hopes of a play-off position.

20 April 2024

Gills play-off hopes are ended following defeat at Mansfield.

Gillingham’s play-off hopes ended following a second-half Mansfield turnaround.

Second half goals from Davis Keillor-Dunn and Stephen McLaughlin cancelled out Tim Dieng’s first half goal as Mansfield took the points in a 2-1 win.

Dom Jefferies made his first start since the defeat at MK Dons in February. He replaced George Lapslie, who was forced off with a knock in the 3-0 win against Barrow. Josh Walker, who was involved in a horrific collision during the game, passed concussion protocols in time to be fit for the bench.

Former Gillingham striker Tom Nichols was named in the Mansfield starting XI. There was a late change to the host’s substitutes bench, as Elliott Hewitt was replaced by Finn Flanagan.

Gills started on the front foot and had the first chance of the game. Tim Dieng linked up with Remeao Hutton, who got beyond Stephen McLaughlin before floating a cross into the box. Dieng headed it goalward but could not keep the effort down as it looped over the bar.

In the seventh minute, Jefferies did brilliantly to turn beyond Aden Flint, taking the defender out of the game. He made his way into the penalty area before shooting, but his effort was blocked by a Mansfield defender. Connor Mahoney had made a run into the box unmarked, but Jefferies did not get his head up in time to spot Mahoney’s run.

In the 19th minute, Gills were in front thanks to Dieng. Jonny Williams found the midfielder inside the penalty area following a smart pass. Dieng attempted to square the ball to Mahoney, but the ball deflected back into the path of the midfielder. The Frenchman remained calm and composed as he slotted beyond Christy Pym from a tight angle.

Nichols tried a speculative effort when the ball fell to the striker inside the Gillingham penalty area. He had his back to the goal and opted for the overhead kick. Fortunately, his attempt bounced harmlessly wide of the post.

Jefferies tried his luck when the ball was played back to him from 20 yards. Unfortunately, his effort ballooned over the crossbar.


HALF-TIME: Mansfield Town 0-1 Gillingham


George Maris had a golden opportunity at the start of the second half. James Gale made his way down the left wing before playing a low ball into the penalty area. Max Clark cleared it as far as Nichols, who seemingly had a clear shot at goal. He opted to pass it to Maris instead, who failed to make clear contact with his shot, as Jake Turner came off his line to make the save.

Turner was soon called into action again as Mansfield started the second period on top. Aaron Lewis shot from a tight angle, with his effort met by two solid palms by Turner to parry away from the danger.

In the 56th minute, Davis Keillor-Dunn replaced Maris and almost made an immediate impact. The ball was cleared as far as the sub, who tried curling his left-footed shot towards the far corner. However, he could not get the angle on the shot right, sending it wide of the goal.

A couple of minutes later, Gillingham made their first change, as Robbie McKenzie came on for Jonny Williams.

Conor Masterson was on hand to provide a crucial block to deny Nichols. Stephen Quinn’s low cross found the striker, who prodded the ball goalward. However, it was met by the sliding block of Masterson, sending the ball away from the danger.

In the 70th minute, Stephen Clemence made a double change with Shad Ogie and Josh Walker replacing Jefferies and Mahoney respectively, as Gillingham went to a back five.

The hosts continued to apply pressure as they went in search of an equaliser. Quinn managed to get down the left wing before sending another low cross into the box. It found the oncoming Keillor-Dunn, who shot first time. Turner did brilliantly to quickly react and made the save before the visitors cleared away.

Gills made their final changes when they introduced Oli Hawkins and Scott Malone, replacing Andrews and Clark.

Seconds after the substitutions, Keillor-Dunn fired an equaliser into the bottom corner. Nichols headed a long ball forward into his path, and he guided a powerful effort beyond Turner.

Gillingham almost found an immediate response when Hawkins’ looping header had to be pushed over the bar by a backtracking Pym.

With ten minutes remaining, a McLaughlin thunderbolt gave the hosts the lead. The ball came out to the left-back, who was around 20 yards from the goal. He showed no hesitation in smashing the ball towards the right top corner, leaving Turner with no hope of keeping it out.

Quinn almost made it three during stoppage time as Mansfield broke forward. Nichols held the ball up before squaring it in the direction of Keillor-Dunn, dummied the ball. It trickled into the path of Quinn, whose low-driven shot was saved by the legs of Turner.


FULL-TIME: Mansfield Town 2-1 Gillingham


Mansfield Town: Pym, Akins, Flint, Bowery, McLaughlin (Cooper 90+2’), Lewis (Clarke 56’), Reed, Maris (Keillor-Dunn 56’), Boateng (Quinn 56’), Nichols, Gale (Macdonald 85’)

Unused Substitutes: Flinders, Flanagan


Gillingham: Turner, Hutton, Ehmer, Masterson, Clark (Malone 76’), Coleman, Jefferies (Ogie 70’), Dieng, Mahoney (Walker 70’), J. Williams (McKenzie 59’), Andrews (Hawkins 76’)

Unused Substitutes: Morris, Clarke


Referee: Sam Purkiss

Attendance: 8150

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