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Report | Gillingham 1-0 Wrexham

Gills produce excellent performance to overcome promotion chasing Wrexham at Priestfield.

24 February 2024

Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 1-0 Wrexham

Gills produce excellent performance to overcome promotion chasing Wrexham at Priestfield.

24 February 2024

Gills propel themselves into the League 2 Play-Off places following excellent win over Wrexham.

Tim Dieng scored the only goal of the game as Gillingham got back to winning ways with a 1-0 win over Wrexham at the Priestfield Stadium.

The goal came from a Gillingham free-kick in the 55th minute when Max Clark floated the ball over the Wrexham defence. That allowed Conor Masterson to peel away and get in behind unmarked before drilling a first-time effort towards the far bottom corner. Dieng was on hand at the back post to ensure the ball crossed the line from around a yard out.

Gills had the returning Glenn Morris to thank for keeping their advantage when he did brilliantly to deny Steven Fletcher with less than 20 minutes remaining. The win moved Gillingham up to seventh place in the League Two table.

Stephen Clemence made three changes to the side that drew 0-0 to Stockport County in midweek. Oli Hawkins and Ashley Nadesan came in for Jayden Clarke and Josh Walker to lead the line.

Gills were forced to a change in goal as Glenn Morris started in the place of Jake Turner, who missed out due to injury.

Tim Dieng had a good opportunity in the fourth minute when Remeao Hutton’s corner towards the back post found the midfielder. Unfortunately, his header lacked the power to test Arthur Okonkwo.

The visitors had a huge chance to take the lead when they caught Gillingham on the counter-attack following a corner. The ball was played forward to James McClean, who carried the ball forward before switching the play. Ryan Barnett carried it towards the penalty area before sending a low cross towards McClean, who had to stretch to get an effort away. Fortunately, he sliced it high and wide of the target from six yards out.

Morris made an excellent finger-tipped save to deny Elliot Lee in the 12th minute. The Wrexham man picked up the ball before curling an effort from the left towards the far top corner. Morris had to be at full stretch to get across and push it around the post for a corner, which came to nothing.

Hutton had a shot on target on the half-hour mark. Dieng played the ball into the feet of Hawkins, who played it wide for Hutton, who had acres of space to run into. The right wing-back made his way towards the box before bringing the ball onto his left foot and curling an effort goalward. It had the pace but was straight at Okonkwo, who caught the effort.

The Wrexham keeper had to be alert to deny Ethan Coleman a few minutes later. A fine ball was switched over to Hutton on the right, who passed it back to Dieng. The midfielder then played it towards Coleman, who curled a first-time shot goalward. It appeared to be going over before dipping at the final moments, forcing Okonkwo to push it over the crossbar.

That saw the start of a flurry of Gillingham corners before the visitors eventually managed to deal with one, allowing them to break forward. The same combination of McClean and Barnett linked up, with the latter firing over the goal from a tight angle inside the host’s penalty area.

 

HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Wrexham

 

In the 55th minute, Dieng gave Gillingham the lead. The hosts won a free-kick when Hawkins was fouled around 25 yards from goal. Max Clark took the set piece, curling the ball over the top of the Wrexham defence, allowing Conor Masterson to peel away unmarked. The defender drilled the ball towards the bottom corner, where Dieng was on hand to prod home from a yard out.

Wrexham nearly caught the hosts out when they took a quick free-kick. The ball was played wide to Barnett, who floated a cross into the box. Jacob Mendy rose the highest but sent his header well over the target.

Nadesan had an opportunity to double the Gillingham advantage when he broke into the penalty area. He shot from around 15 yards towards Okonkwo’s near post. Nadesan’s effort beat the Wrexham goalkeeper, but went the wrong side of the post, nestling into side netting.

The visitors somehow remained behind moments later. Morris did well to palm away a powerful snapshot, but the rebound dropped to Steven Fletcher, who tried to hook it beyond the Gillingham goalkeeper. Morris got a hand onto the former Scotland international’s effort on goal; however, it still managed to go past the Gills goalkeeper, who had to swiftly get back to his line to push away from the goal.

Gills made a triple substitution in the 76th minute, as Robbie McKenzie, Scott Malone and Clarke replaced Jonny Williams, Clark and Nadesan respectively.

The visitors tried their best to apply late pressure, but the Gills did well to manage the game, holding on for all three points.

 

FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-0 Wrexham

 

Gillingham: Morris, Hutton, Masterson, Ehmer, Ogie, Clark (Malone 76’), Coleman, Dieng, J. Williams (McKenzie 76’), Nadesan (Clarke 77’), Hawkins

Unused Substitutes: Holtam, S. Williams, Mahoney, Walker

 

Wrexham: Okonkwo, Cleworth, O’Connell, Tunnicliffe (Young 77’), Barnett (Bolton 78’), McClean, Cannon, Lee, Mendy (Davies 78’), Fletcher (Dalby 77’), Marriott (Mullin 69’)

Unused Substitutes: Howard, Tozer

 

Referee: Scott Simpson

Attendance: 8693 (844 away fans)


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