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Report | Gillingham 1-1 Tranmere Rovers

Gills suffer heartache as late Tim Dieng goal ruled out at Priestfield to ensure the points were shared against Tranmere.

9 March 2024

Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 1-1 Tranmere Rovers

Gills suffer heartache as late Tim Dieng goal ruled out at Priestfield to ensure the points were shared against Tranmere.

9 March 2024

Gills denied late winner at Priestfield.

Tim Dieng had what would have been a last-gasp winner ruled out for a handball in Gillingham's 1-1 draw against Tranmere Rovers at the Priestfield Stadium.

Regan Hendry opened the scoring for the visitors in the fourth minute when his smart half-volley hit the inside of the post before bouncing into the back of the net.

Gills applied pressure throughout the game, and it took until the 84th minute to level the score. Conor Masterson got on the end of Connor Mahoney's corner, thumping his header beyond Luke McGee.

Dieng thought he won it at the death when he smashed home from close range. However, the ball was judged to have struck an arm in the ricochet that led to his goal, causing the linesman to raise his flag.

Stephen Clemence named an unchanged starting XI for a fourth successive game. George Lapslie returned to the matchday squad, having missed the last few games due to injury. Jayden Clarke missed out.

Ashley Nadesan had a good chance in the opening moments. Gills had a free-kick in a central position, which Remeao Hutton dinked towards the back post. Oli Hawkins did well to guide it back into the middle before Tim Dieng flicked it onto Nadesan. The striker was in acres of space but sent his header wide of the target.

In the third minute, Connor Jennings should have done better with his opportunity. The forward received the ball with space inside the penalty area, but his low-driven effort was straight at Glenn Morris in the Gillingham goal.

Tranmere were ahead two minutes later. Lee O’Connor’s cross was headed as far as Regan Hendry, who controlled the ball before sending a half-volley towards the far corner. Hendry’s effort smacked off the inside of the post before bouncing over the line, leaving Morris rooted to his spot.

Morris had a huge moment in the 19th minute. Hendry played a superb ball in behind the Gillingham defence, which Harvey Saunders got on the end of. He beat Morris to the ball and looked to take it beyond the Gillingham goalkeeper. However, Morris bravely stuck a leg out, winning the ball as he put the ball out of play for a throw.

Rob Apter caused the Gillingham defence issues when he went on a mazy run. The Tranmere winger got beyond multiple defenders before he had space just inside the penalty area. Fortunately, he lost his balance as he was shooting, firing his effort over the crossbar.

In the 24th minute, Dieng came very close. Max Clark crossed from the left, which was met by the oncoming run of Dieng. The midfielder headed the ball towards the far post, but it bounced just wide of the target, with Luke McGee already beaten.

Gills continued to apply pressure when Hutton played the ball across the face of the goal. Unfortunately, nobody managed to get the definitive touch before the hosts were penalised for a foul.

Clark hit the crossbar right before half-time. Gills won a free-kick 20 yards from the goal just left from the centre after Max Ehmer was pushed in the back. Clark stepped up to take it, curling it up and over the wall. Unfortunately, his strike hit the top of the crossbar before going out of play.

During stoppage time, Apter came close to doubling Tranmere’s lead, curling his shot just wide of the far bottom corner.


HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-1 Tranmere Rovers


Gills made two changes at the break as Lapslie and Connor Mahoney replaced Shad Ogie and Nadesan respectively.

Former Gills forward Luke Norris had the first chance of the second-half, firing into the side netting at the near post from the right of the penalty area.

Hawkins had a great opportunity moments later. Clark curled a floated cross from the left towards the striker, who rose the highest. However, his header was always rising, going over the bar.

In the 51st minute, Apter fluffed a guilt-edged chance to make it two. The ball was squared to the winger, who was in acres of space. Fortunately, he completely sliced his shot, sending it out for a throw.

Gills quickly turned defence into attack and were denied by a last-ditch piece of defending on the hour. Clark’s long ball was brought down by Hawkins, who laid it off to Lapslie. The midfielder played it wide to Mahoney, who brought the ball to the box before playing it towards the six-yard box. The ball got beyond McGee, with Dieng seemingly having a simple tap-in before a Tranmere player came in at the final second to clear away.

Hawkins continued to cause the visitors issues when he was on the end of another cross from Clark. Unfortunately, he could not make proper contact with the ball, as his volley lacked the power to test McGee.

Gillingham made two more substitutions in the 77th minute when Scott Malone and Josh Walker replaced Clark and Ethan Coleman.

In the 84th minute, Conor Masterson brought Gillingham back onto level terms. Mahoney curled a corner from the right towards the six-yard box, which was met by the head of Masterson, who thumped his header into the back of the net.

Hawkins nearly turned the game on its head during stoppage time. Mahoney curled a cross into the box, which the striker flicked goalward. Unfortunately, it went wide of the far post.

In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Hendry was inches away from scoring the winner. The midfielder received the ball on the edge of the penalty area before striking a left-footed shot. The effort beat Morris, but fortunately for the Gills, it struck the inside of the post before bouncing away.

Dieng thought he had won it for Gillingham at the death. The ball ricocheted around the six-yard box before falling to the midfielder, who smashed home from close range. However, the ball struck Dieng’s arm moments beforehand, causing the goal to be ruled out.


FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-1 Tranmere Rovers


Gillingham: Morris, Hutton, Masterson, Ehmer, Ogie (Lapslie 46’), Clark (Malone 77’), Coleman (Walker 77’), Dieng, J. Williams, Hawkins, Nadesan (Mahoney 46’)

Unused Substitutes: Turner, McKenzie, S. Williams


Tranmere Rovers: McGee, Lee, Yarney, Turnbull, Wood, Apter (Taylor 81’), Merrie, Hendry, Saunders (Dennis 81’), Jennings, Norris (Lewis 73’)

Unused Substitutes: Murphy, McAlear, Pike, Belehouan


Referee: James Linington

Attendance: 6077 (207 away fans)

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