Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Report | MK Dons 2-1 Gillingham

Gills unlucky to lose at Stadium MK.

27 January 2024

Match Reports

Report | MK Dons 2-1 Gillingham

Gills unlucky to lose at Stadium MK.

27 January 2024

Gillingham leave Stadium MK empty handed despite strong showing against promotion hopefuls.

Josh Walker’s stoppage time goal proved to be a consolation as MK Dons beat Gillingham 2-1 at Stadium MK.

MJ Williams and Alex Gilbey scored twice during the final 15 minutes to give the hosts the lead before Walker scored on his Gillingham debut to offer a lifeline during stoppage time.

Unfortunately, the equaliser did not come, as Macauley Bonne hit the crossbar minutes later as the hosts hung on for all three points.

Stephen Clemence made two changes following the 1-1 draw against Forest Green. Dom Jefferies and Ashley Nadesan returned to the starting XI, while Josh Walker was named among the substitutes after joining on loan from Burton Albion in midweek.

Gills had a huge chance to score an early opener when Ethan Coleman won possession on the edge of the MK penalty area. He played it through to Jefferies, who was looking for a striker to take the initiative and shoot from his lay-off. Jefferies instead had to pass it to his right, where Connor Mahoney was in space. Unfortunately, he could not test Filip Marschall, curling a first-time effort over the bar.

Jack Payne came close in the 18th minute. The ball came out to the midfielder, who set himself before shooting from over 20 yards out. Payne’s shot had plenty of power but went just wide of the target.

The hosts had a penalty shout when Max Ehmer challenged Max Dean inside the box. It was a strong tackle where the Gillingham captain won the ball before the forward had the chance to shoot, and it trickled out of play for a goal-kick.

In the 26th minute, Oli Hawkins forced Marschall into a save. Coleman switched the ball out towards Remeao Hutton, who got towards the box before curling a pin-point cross in the direction of Hawkins. The forward got on the end of it, heading towards the ground as the ball bounced up just in front of Marschall, who did well to push it around the post for a corner.

Jefferies came close moments later when his shot from distance was palmed away by Marschall. The rebound looked to be coming out to Hawkins but was just a bit too wide for the striker.

Jake Turner was called into action to deny Dean when the forward tried a speculative effort from the right side. The Gills goalkeeper did well to make the save, pushing it wide of the post for a corner that came to nothing.

Gills were forced into a 43rd-minute change when Hawkins came off with what appeared to be a groin injury. He was replaced by Macauley Bonne.

Alex Gilbey stung the palms of Turner shortly before half-time. He struck a powerful shot from just outside the penalty area, which was straight at Turner but too hot to keep a hold of. The loose ball came back into the penalty area, where the Gills eventually dealt with the loose ball.


HALF-TIME: MK Dons 0-0 Gillingham


Shortly after half-time, Dan Kemp came close. MK broke forward from kick-off, and the ball was cut back for Kemp, who had time inside the box to take a shot. Turner got down to parry it away before Ehmer cleared away for a corner.

In the 63rd minute, Gills made a double change as George Lapslie replaced Mahoney. Walker made his Gillingham debut, coming on for Nadesan.

Walker almost made an immediate impact. Hutton curled a free-kick towards the back post, where an MK defender headed away as far as Shad Ogie, who headed the ball back into a host of players. It dropped to Walker, who smashed it goalward from around eight yards. It took a deflection on its way to the goal as it cleared the crossbar.

Gillingham kept applying pressure and Scott Malone had a great opportunity. Bonne flicked a cross into the box towards Malone, who had gotten away from his marker. Unfortunately, he could not keep his header down and it went just over.

Coleman came close moments later when his shot from distance stung the palms of Marschall before the hosts cleared their lines.

In the 70th minute, Gillingham were a touch away from taking the lead. Bonne was played through down the left and spotted Jefferies on the edge of the penalty area. The 21-year-old squared it to an unmarked Hutton, who fizzed a low-driven ball across the face of the goal. It needed a touch to put the ball into the back of the net, but evaded everybody before going out for a throw.

The visitors had Lapslie to thank down the other end as MK broke on the counter following a Gillingham set piece. It seemed that they were set to go through on goal unchallenged before Lapslie did brilliantly tracking back to cut out a pass to stop the attack.

Turner had to react quickly to deny Payne in the 77th minute. Dean Lewington curled a ball towards the six-yard box that the goalkeeper had to punch clear. It dropped to Payne, who half-volleyed a first-time effort goalward. Turner was still on the ground before jumping up to parry it wide of the goal.

Moments later, MJ Williams fired the hosts in front. The ball fell to the defender inside the box, and he struck a shot into the ground, which found the bottom corner.

Tim Dieng and Jonny Williams replaced Conor Masterson and Coleman in the 84th minute as Gills went in search of an equaliser.

With just a couple of minutes remaining, Gilbey doubled the hosts' lead. The ball was played down the right for Stephen Wearne, who delivered a low cross towards the oncoming Gilbey, who swept the ball into the back of the net.

Walker pulled a goal back at the beginning of stoppage time. Hutton’s corner from the right found Bonne, which was headed goalward. It was saved by Marschall before Walker followed up the rebound to prod over the line.

Bonne had a huge opportunity at the death when he got on the end of Hutton’s cross, and his attempt skimmed the top of the crossbar before going out of play for a goal-kick.


FULL-TIME: MK Dons 2-1 Gillingham


MK Dons: Marschall, Williams, O’Hora, Lewington, Harvie, Payne, Bate (Robson 76’), Tomlinson, Gilbey, Kemp (Wearne 76’), Dean (Harrison 82’)

Unused Substitutes: Kelly, Eisa, Smith, Lofthouse


Gillingham: Turner, Hutton, Masterson (Dieng 84’), Ehmer, Ogie, Malone, Coleman (J. Williams 84’), Jefferies, Mahoney (Lapslie 63’), Nadesan (Walker 63’), Hawkins (Bonne 43’)

Unused Substitutes: Morris, Clark


Referee :Carl Brook

Attendance: 6723 (1380 Gillingham supporters)

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account