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Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 1-1 Grimsby Town

Gills dominate in the second half against Grimsby but are forced to settle for a point.

16 March 2024

Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 1-1 Grimsby Town

Gills dominate in the second half against Grimsby but are forced to settle for a point.

16 March 2024

Missed chances prove costly as Gills draw with Grimsby.

George Lapslie scored in Gillingham’s 1-1 draw with Grimsby Town at the Priestfield Stadium to help move closer to the play-off places.

Donovan Wright gave Grimsby the lead after 13 minutes, but the visitors were only in front for three minutes. Tim Dieng received the ball on the left wing and curled a cross towards the six-yard box that Lapslie got on the end of, volleying beyond Harvey Cartwright in the Grimsby goal.

Gills Head Coach Stephen Clemence was forced into changes to his matchday squad following a sickness bug that spread throughout the camp in the build-up to the fixture.

Conor Masterson missed out through suspension, while Ethan Coleman was not involved. Robbie McKenzie and Lapslie were named in the starting XI. Taite Holtam, Alex Giles and Joe Gbode were named among the substitutes.

The hosts lined up with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with McKenzie and Tim Dieng in the holding midfield positions. Oli Hawkins led the line, with Connor Mahoney, George Lapslie and Jonny Williams playing behind the striker.

Gills started the brighter of the two sides and came close through Lapslie. Mahoney carried the ball forward into the Grimsby penalty area before fizzing a right-footed cross towards the six-yard box. Lapslie ran onto it, but his header went wide of the target.

In the 13th minute, Grimsby took the lead. The visitors turned defence into attack after Harvey Cartwright claimed a Gills corner. Holohan played a defence-splitting pass for Wilson, who found himself one-on-one with an oncoming Glenn Morris. The forward remained composed, slotting it underneath the Gillingham goalkeeper.

Lapslie brought Gillingham level shortly afterwards. Dieng delivered a cross from the left, which was met by the oncoming Lapslie, who volleyed the ball from inside the six-yard box beyond Cartwright.

Jonny Williams almost scored his first league goal for the Gills in the most unlikely of scenarios. Remeao Hutton crossed from the right towards the back post. Williams beat his marker to the ball, directing a header towards the far corner. However, Harvey Rodgers was on hand to clear clear off the line, sending it out for a corner.

From the resulting corner, Dieng floated a high and looping header goalward. It took Cartwright two attempts to gather the ball, with the ball colliding with the crossbar when he made his initial catch.

Max Clark forced Cartwright into a save in the 29th minute. The left-back had the ball from around 20 yards out and was encouraged to shoot. He rifled a left-footed effort goalward, which caught Cartwright off guard. The Grimsby goalkeeper did well in reacting to the shot, getting a solid hand to palm the ball away.


HALF-TIME: Gillingham 1-1 Grimsby Town


Wilson should have done better with his chance just after the hour. Grimsby won the ball just inside Gillingham's half before breaking forward. The ball was played down the left for Denver Hume, who cut it back for Wilson. The striker had the time and space to take a touch and set himself but struck it first time, sending it over the crossbar.

In the 66th minute, Hawkins had a golden chance. Lapslie did well to hold off a defender inside the penalty area before stretching to cut the ball back towards the six-yard box. It found Hawkins, whose first time shot went over the crossbar.

Gillingham continued to apply pressure, coming close twice shortly afterwards. Shad Ogie had the ball from over 20 yards out and was encouraged to shoot. He accepted the invitation, striking a thunderous effort goalward. His strike had too much power for Cartwright to keep hold of, as he had to palm it clear. Mahoney was first to the rebound, shooting first time. Unfortunately, his outside-of-the-foot effort struck the post before bouncing clear.

Ogie had another great opportunity after going on a superb run. The central defender latched onto a loose ball before making a bursting run down the left wing. Ogie made his way into the penalty area, shaking off a Grimsby defender before shooting from a tight angle. He tried to angle his effort towards the roof of the net, but his shot blazed over Cartwright’s crossbar.

Mahoney was the next to come close. He did well to take the ball past a Grimsby player before firing a right-footed effort goalward. Unfortunately, his strike had too much on it as it went over the target.

With five minutes remaining, Gillingham made three substitutions. Scott Malone, Ashley Nadesan and Jayden Clarke came on to replace Clark, McKenzie and Jonny Williams.

It took a big sliding block from Max Ehmer to deny Rekeil Pyke in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Jamie Andrews did well to keep possession outside the Gillingham penalty area before the ball was played to Pyke inside the box. He was allowed to turn and seemingly had a clear shot at goal before Ehmer came sliding in, timing his block to perfection to deflect the effort wide of the near post.


FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-1 Grimsby Town


Gillingham: Morris, Hutton, Ehmer, Ogie, Clark (Malone 84’), McKenzie (Nadesan 85’), Dieng, Mahoney, J. Williams (Clarke 85’), Lapslie, Hawkins

Unused Substitutes: Holtam, Giles, S. Williams, Gbode


Grimsby Town: Cartwright, Mullarkey (Smith 81’), Tharme, Rodgers, Hume, Clifton (Eisa 46’), Thompson, Holohan (Andrews 74’), Wilson (Pyke 81’), Green, Obikwu (Gnahoua 46’)

Unused Substitutes: Eastwood, Wood


Referee: James Bell

Attendance: 6065 (425 away fans)

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