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Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 1-1 Forest Green Rovers

The points are shared at Priestfield.

20 January 2024

Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 1-1 Forest Green Rovers

The points are shared at Priestfield.

20 January 2024

Gills forced to settle for a point at ME7 as Forest Green come from behind to seal a 1-1 draw.

Oli Hawkins’ first goal of the season was cancelled out by Callum Jones’ second-half strike as Gillingham were held to a 1-1 draw by Forest Green at the Priestfield Stadium.

Hawkins gave Gillingham the lead when he got on the end of Connor Mahoney’s corner, heading the ball into the far corner of the net.

Jones brought the visitors level, rifling a curling effort into the top corner, leaving Jake Turner helpless.

Stephen Clemence made three changes for the game with Remeao Hutton making his debut, having signed from Swindon Town during the week. George Lapslie and the match-winner at Accrington Stanley, Macauley Bonne, also came into the starting XI. Tim Dieng and Tom Nichols dropped to the bench.

Callum Jones had the first opportunity of note in the 20th minute. He received the ball with the time and space to set himself before shooting. Fortunately, his effort lacked any power to test Jake Turner, as it rolled into his waiting arms.

The opening half-hour lacked key chances, as both sides defended stubbornly. The game was mostly played in the middle of the park as Gillingham and Forest Green looked for a way through. Gills got into some positive areas, but the final ball was lacking, failing to test Luke Daniels in the visiting goal.


HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Forest Green Rovers


Jones had the first opportunity of the second half when the visitors won a free-kick 20 yards from the goal in a central position. It went low and underneath the wall, but Jones’ effort was easily gathered by Turner, who got down to his right to make the save.

On the hour, Bonne thought he had given Gillingham the lead. Dom Bernard’s attempted clearance was blocked by Lapslie, and it fell to Bonne inside the penalty area. The striker set himself before slotting the ball into the far bottom corner. Unfortunately, the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.

Oli Hawkins had a good chance moments later. Hutton delivered a cross from the right which found the head of the striker. However, Oli could not make clear contact, knocking it wide of the post.

Gills burst into life as Shad Ogie’s low-driven ball across the six-yard box needed just a touch. Connor Mahoney’s free-kick from the right went all the way across to Ogie, who had no defender marking him. He did well to set himself before sending a dangerous cross across the face of the goal. Unfortunately, there was no Gillingham player in the vicinity of the area to put the ball into an empty net.

In the 67th minute, Hawkins gave Gillingham the lead. Mahoney curled a corner from the right towards the six-yard box, where the striker towered over his marker to head the ball towards the far corner. It beat Daniels in the Forest Green goal, and despite the best efforts from a defender on the line, it still ended up in the back of the net.

Jones brought the visitors level eight minutes later against the run of play. Kyle McAllister had the ball inside the penalty area and set it back to Jones, who found himself in space. He brought the ball onto his right foot before rifling an effort into the top corner, leaving Turner with no chance of keeping it out.

In response to the goal, Gills made two changes, as Jonny Williams and Ashley Nadesan replaced Lapslie and Bonne respectively.

Gills had Turner to thank for keeping the scores level, as he was called into action twice in a matter of seconds. The first came when Fankaty Dabo received the ball inside the penalty area. He looked destined to score but could not get a strike away, with Turner pushing the ball away from Dabo. The second ball dropped to Matty Stevens, who saw his shot well-saved by Turner.

The visitors continued to apply the pressure as McAllister was the next to put Gillingham’s hearts in mouths. Dabo spotted the unmarked run of the forward, who was in acres of space. He cut the ball back onto his left foot before bending a shot towards the far corner. The effort beat Turner, but Shad Ogie was on hand to get across and head it clear of the goal with it seemingly going in.

Stevens then fired just wide of the post as the ball came out to him on the edge of the box, with his curling effort going inches wide.

Nadesan missed a golden opportunity in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Scott Malone floated a ball towards Ogie, who volleyed it across goal. It dropped to Nadesan, who sent his diving header over the bar. However, the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.


FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-1 Forest Green Rovers


Gillingham: Turner, Hutton, Masterson, Ehmer, Ogie, Malone, Coleman, Lapslie (J. Williams 78’), Mahoney, Bonne (Nadesan 78’), Hawkins

Unused Substitutes: Morris, Clark, McKenzie, Dieng, Nichols


Forest Green Rovers: Daniels, Bernard, Moore-Taylor, Inniss, Robson, Jones (Oyedele 84’), McCann, Osadebe (Bunker 90’), McAllister, Stevens, Thompson (Dabo 80’)

Unused Substitutes: Simkin, Johnson, Taylor


Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 6282 (145 away fans)

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