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Match Reports

Report | Colchester United 0-1 Gillingham

Scott Malone scored his second goal in successive games to help Gills begin 2024 in the best possible way.

1 January 2024

Match Reports

Report | Colchester United 0-1 Gillingham

Scott Malone scored his second goal in successive games to help Gills begin 2024 in the best possible way.

1 January 2024

Gills secure back-to-back league wins with Scott Malone once again on target to help secure three points.

Scott Malone made it two winning goals in two games as Gillingham began 2024 with a 1-0 victory against Colchester United at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Malone put Gillingham in front in the 54th minute when his ball towards goal deflected beyond Owen Goodman at his near post.

Gills were unlucky not to score more, as Dom Jefferies and Max Ehmer were denied by Goodman during the first half. The visitors rattled the woodwork twice in the second period when Oli Hawkins saw his header smack the bar at 0-0.

Ogie came close to adding a quick second goal when his powerful strike was pushed onto the post by Goodman.

Stephen Clemence made two changes following the 1-0 win over Sutton United, as match-winner Malone and Connor Mahoney returned to the starting XI. They replaced Max Clark, who was fit for the bench and Jonny Williams, who missed out having come off during the first half of the Sutton victory.

Max Ehmer was fit enough to captain the side, while Oli Hawkins and Ashley Nadesan led the line together. Robbie McKenzie was named among the substitutes as the Gills continued to operate with the 5-3-2 formation.

Dom Jefferies was denied by a great Owen Goodman save in the opening minutes. The ball was played into the feet of Hawkins, who did brilliantly to hold off his marker before laying it off to Jefferies, who burst beyond a defender to get into the penalty area.

The midfielder found himself one-on-one with Goodman before trying to stroke the ball into the far bottom corner. However, the Colchester goalkeeper was equal to it, as he got down to make the save, gathering it at the second attempt.

In the 14th minute, Joe Taylor missed a golden chance to give Colchester the lead. John Akinde flicked a ball on for Noah Chilvers, who made his way down the left wing. Chilvers delivered a low ball into the penalty area, which Taylor got on the end of. Taylor directed his effort towards the opposite corner but sent it well wide of the far post, as the Gills had a huge let-off.

Goodman was called into action to deny Ehmer in the 33rd minute. Mahoney curled a free-kick from the right towards the penalty area. Ehmer made contact as he flicked the ball goalward towards the far post. Goodman had to get across at full stretch to push it away from the danger.

Moments later, the visitors continued to cause the Colchester goalkeeper issues. Jefferies received the ball from over 20 yards, striking a fierce shot on target. It was straight at Goodman, who could not keep hold of it, and the rebound eventually fell to Shad Ogie, who saw his shot blocked. There were appeals for a handball, but the linesman’s flag was raised for offside. 


HALF-TIME: Colchester United 0-0 Gillingham


Hawkins rattled the crossbar just a couple of minutes after the break. Mahoney floated a right-footed cross into the box, which Hawkins headed goalward. His effort beat Goodman in the Colchester goal but smacked the woodwork before the hosts put the ball out of play for a corner.

From the resulting set piece, Colchester almost completed a perfect counter-attack. They broke forward with numbers after the Gills corner, and the ball was played through for Arthur Read, who cut in onto his left before curling a shot goalward. Jake Turner got down to deal with it, gathering the ball at the second attempt.

Malone had a half-chance moments later as Gillingham continued to increase the pressure. Jefferies got on the end of Hawkins’ knockdown before weaving his way beyond a couple of defenders and dinking a cross towards Malone. The left-back made solid contact but skied a right-footed effort.

In the 54th minute, Gills were in front. Jefferies played it out wide to Malone, who did brilliantly to evade Jayden Fevrier’s challenge before making his way into the penalty area. Malone’s attempted ball across goal took a slight deflection, which beat Goodman at his near post, as the ball nestled in the back of the net.

Ogie smashed the woodwork four minutes later. The ball dropped to the defender just inside the penalty area, and he rifled a thunderbolt towards the near post. Goodman somehow managed to get a fingertip, which pushed it onto the woodwork, denying Gillingham a second.

Following the Ogie chance, Taylor was denied by brilliant defensive work from Cheye Alexander at the other end. The hosts caught Gillingham on the counter-attack, led by Taylor. He used his pace to burst towards the penalty area as he tried to get beyond Alexander, who kept up with him every step of the way. At the final second, Alexander got across the Colchester striker to outmuscle him, shielding the ball back to Turner.

In the 62nd minute, Macauley Bonne and Tom Nichols replaced Hawkins and Nadesan respectively.

The visitors made another substitution in the 70th minute when George Lapslie replaced the energetic Jefferies.

Gillingham’s hearts were in their mouths when Chilvers curled a cross into the box. It was in the direction of Tom Hopper, who needed to just get a touch to prod it into the back of the net. Fortunately, Hopper left the ball, allowing it to bounce out of play for a goal-kick.

Hopper was involved again when his volley from just inside the penalty area was well blocked by Conor Masterson.

In the 82nd minute, Mahoney did well to conjure up an opportunity. He did well to burst forward, going inside on his left foot. He got into a central position just outside the penalty area before shooting. Unfortunately, his effort was straight at Goodman, who caught the effort.

McKenzie came on for Mahoney shortly afterwards as Stephen Clemence looked to try and hold onto Gillingham’s advantage.

During stoppage time, Hopper rose the highest to make contact with Zach Mitchell’s cross. Fortunately, it was right down to Turner, who made the simple save.


FULL-TIME: Colchester United 0-1 Gillingham


Colchester United: Goodman, Dallison, Hall, Mitchell, Iandolo (Edwards 76’), Read, Marshall-Miranda (Cooper 85’), Fevrier, Chilvers (Jay 85’), Akinde (Ihionvien 63’), Taylor (Hopper 63’)

Unused Substitutes: Hornby, Kazeem


Gillingham: Turner, Alexander, Masterson, Ehmer, Ogie, Malone, Coleman, Jefferies (Lapslie70’), Mahoney (McKenzie 84’), Hawkins (Bonne 62’), Nadesan (Nichols 62’)

Unused Substitutes: Morris, Clark, Clarke


Referee: Sam Purkiss

Attendance: 4923 (998 Gills)

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