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Match Reports

Report | Morecambe 2-3 Gillingham

Gills come from behind twice to secure victory against Morecambe and stay in the play-off chase.

23 March 2024

Match Reports

Report | Morecambe 2-3 Gillingham

Gills come from behind twice to secure victory against Morecambe and stay in the play-off chase.

23 March 2024

Gills show terrific fighting spirit to defeat Morecambe in Lancashire.

Connor Mahoney scored what proved to be the winner as Gillingham came from behind twice to beat Morecambe 3-2 at the Mazuma Stadium.

The hosts took the lead after 11 minutes when Jordan Slew slotted a shot beyond Glenn Morris, however that lead lasted eight minutes before Oli Hawkins fired Gillingham level.

Charlie Brown, the creator of Morecambe’s opener, restored their advantage after prodding into an empty net from close range but the Gills fought back to level the game once again when Tim Dieng’s powerful shot from range beat Archie Mair in the Morecambe goal.

Mahoney scored what proved to be the winner with four minutes remaining. Mair’s attempted clearance went as far as the winger, who was 25 yards from the goal. He drove into the penalty area before drilling a shot into the back of the net, ensuring the 208 travelling supporters went home happy.

Stephen Clemence named an unchanged starting XI following the draw to Grimsby Town. Ethan Coleman and Conor Masterson returned to the matchday squad. Josh Andrews was named too for the first time since signing from Birmingham City on transfer deadline day.

Hawkins had the ball in the back of the net in the seventh minute. Connor Mahoney’s corner was headed as far as George Lapslie, who flicked the ball goalward. Hawkins was first to make contact with the ball, sneaking a header into the back of the net at the near post. Unfortunately, he had done so from an offside position, causing the linesman to raise his flag.

In the 11th minute, Jordan Slew gave Morecambe the lead. Charlie Brown won possession before making a bursting run forward, leaving the Gillingham defence stretched and backpedalling. Slew had a free run with space to get inside the box, which Brown spotted. He played it to Slew, who found himself one-on-one with Glenn Morris before slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

Eight minutes later, Hawkins had his goal. The striker flicked the ball into the path of Mahoney, who played it out wide to Remeao Hutton. The right-back sent a testing cross into the six-yard box, which the hosts failed to deal with. The loose ball came back to Hawkins, who did well to drill his shot into the bottom corner beyond a Morecambe defender.

Gills went in search of a second goal, and a corner caused Morecambe issues. They could not clear the initial ball into the box, which fell to Max Ehmer. He laid it back for Hutton to shoot. His effort was blocked before the ball ricocheted around, and the hosts cleared their lines.

Archie Mair was forced into action in the 33rd minute. Mahoney won a free-kick on the right byline after being taken out by a David Tutonda sliding tackle. The winger took the set piece himself, curling an effort towards the near post, forcing Mair to get across and punch it over the crossbar for a corner.

From the resulting corner, the ball was played back to Max Clark, who delivered a deep cross towards the back post. Unfortunately, it had too much on it for Tim Dieng.

An attempted cross from Slew caused some panic for the Gills shortly before half-time. The forward broke away down the left before fizzing a cross into the box. The ball that was played in went more goalward, nearly sneaking into the net at the back post. It forced Morris to scramble over, but fortunately, it grazed the top of the netting on its way over the goal.

 

HALF-TIME: Morecambe 1-1 Gillingham

 

Morecambe had a huge opportunity to retake the lead ten minutes into the second half. Brown delivered a cross from the right, with the ball going all the way to the back post, with Slew waiting unmarked. The forward directed a header towards the goal, but Morris showed great reflexes to quickly push the ball behind the post for a corner, which came to nothing.

On the hour, Josh Walker replaced Jonny Williams. The former Wales international was forced off after picking up a knock in a challenge minutes beforehand.

The hosts quickly broke forward with some slick passing soon after. The ball was played forward to Slew, who dropped it back for Tutonda. The Morecambe left-back played a first-time pass for Ged Garner to get on the end of before he switched the ball over to Brown, who had space around him. Brown shot towards the near post but was denied by Morris.

Moments later, Brown scored. The ball pinballed around the Gillingham penalty area before Garner dragged an attempted shot into the six-yard box, which Brown prodded into the back of the net.

In the 68th minute, Gillingham made two more changes as Coleman and Scott Malone replaced Robbie McKenzie and Clark respectively.

Dieng brought Gillingham level on 73 minutes. The ball came out to the midfielder, who was 25-30 yards away from goal. Dieng opted to shoot, unleashing a ferocious effort goalward. The ball had too much pace and power for Mair to keep out, who helplessly flapped at the ball as it flew past him.

With a little over ten minutes remaining, Andrews came on to make his Gillingham debut, replacing Hawkins. Jayden Clarke also entered the game, replacing Lapslie.

Tutonda stung the palms of Morris when his shot from wide left was directed towards the near post. Morris stood firm, getting two solid hands to push it clear from the danger.

Soon afterwards, Ehmer was denied by a brilliant challenge, which prevented him from shooting from close range.

With four minutes remaining, Mahoney fired Gillingham into the lead. The ball was played back to Mair, who cleared the ball. However, his attempted clearance went as far as Mahoney, who found himself 25 yards from the goal. He carried the ball into the penalty area before drilling a low-driven shot beyond Mair, finding the back of the net, thus causing bedlam amongst the travelling Gillingham support.

Ehmer came close to adding a fourth twice during stoppage time. The first came from a corner, which was delivered towards the back post. The Gills captain got on the end of it, but his attempt hit the outside of the post. The second attempt was almost a spectacular finish. A free-kick was sent towards the defender, who did brilliantly to bring it under control before setting himself to shoot. Ehmer fired a shot towards the far top corner that whistled just over the crossbar.

 

FULL-TIME: Morecambe 2-3 Gillingham

 

Morecambe: Mair, Senior, Bedeau, Stokes, Tutonda, Khumbeni, Adams (Edwards 76’), Taylor, Brown (Hiwula 89’), Garner, Slew

Unused Substitutes: A. Smith, Songo’o, Larsson, C. Smith, Harrack

 

Gillingham: Morris, Hutton, Ehmer, Ogie, Clark (Malone 68’), McKenzie (Coleman 68’), Dieng, J. Williams (Walker 60’), Lapslie (Clarke 79’), Mahoney, Hawkins (Andrews 79’)

Unused Substitutes: Turner, Masterson

 

Referee: Paul Howard

Attendance: 3408 (208 Gillingham supporters)


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