Gillingham were held to a goalless draw at home to Cheltenham on Tuesday night.
In an entertaining League 2 encounter both sides had their chances but neither could find the killer blow.
Three changes were made to the Gillingham side which beat League 1 Scunthorpe at the weekend in the FA Cup, with leading scorer Danny Kedwell among those returning to the starting XI.
Andy Frampton, at left-back, and midfielder Lewis Montrose were also included for the battle between top of the table Gills and third placed Cheltenham.
Gills boss Martin Allen – once manager at Cheltenham - had labelled the match as his side’s toughest test yet and the visitors displayed plenty of quality going forward, testing the hosts early on.
Only some desperate blocks and a couple of good saves from keeper Stuart Nelson kept Cheltenham at bay.
Gillingham’s chances were being fired wide of the mark, with Chris Whelpdale blasting one effort over the bar, after Myles Weston’s cross had ran through to him in the area.
Defender Adam Barrett also headed a Whelpdale throw wide as the Gills looked to get a grip of the match.
Gillingham were living on a knife-edge at times at the other end and three times in the first half they were saved by sliding tackles from young defender Callum Davies.
Allen’s men had a golden opportunity to open the scoring five minutes before the break, after Jack Payne’s long-range shot was spilled by keeper Scott Brown. The ball landed at the feet of Kedwell but he smashed the effort against the bar with the goal gaping.
Deon Burton was brought on early in the second half as Allen looked to get the Gills going. But it was Barrett who almost gave the hosts the lead just before the hour mark, with a shot that keeper Scott Brown needed to be at full stretch to deflect over the bar.
The Gills were looking far superior at the start of the second half and they maintained their dominance throughout the rest of the game. But it was the visitors who came close on 73 minutes, when Jermanine McGlashan’s cross eluded the grasp of Nelson, and Matt Fish had to make a last-ditch clearance.
In a game that ebbed and flowed substitute Burton put a diving header inches wide for the Gills moments later. With five minutes left Kedwell headed a corner wide.
Gillingham: Nelson, Fish, Frampton, Barrett, Davies, Payne (Burton 53mins), Montrose, Vincelot, Whelpdale, Weston (Jackman 74mins), Kedwell (Birchall 87mins). Subs not used: Forecast, Hare, Flanagan, Strevens.
Cheltenham: Brown, Jones, Carter, Elliott, Pack, McGlashan, Bennett, Penn (Deering 87mins), Jombati, Mohamed (Goulding 80mins), Zebroski. Subs not used: Lowe, Duffy, Roberts, Harrad, Andrew.
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