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Gillingham 2 Northampton Town 0

Cody McDonald

Cody McDonald takes on the Northampton defence. Picture: Barry Goodwin 

Gillingham returned to the top of League 2 after winning their first game at home in more than two months on Tuesday.

Cody McDonald fired the Gills ahead early on in the first half and Myles Weston struck late on to seal the points.

The win ended a sequence of five games without success on home turf for the Gills and their first three points at Priestfield since mid-November.

Boss Martin Allen made four changes to his team from the one which drew with York on Saturday. A completely fresh strike force saw McDonald make his first start since rejoining the club, alongside Deon Burton. Myles Weston also returned to the starting XI.

It took the Gills just four minutes to take the lead. In conditions not ideal for football, Northampton keeper Lee Nicholls will no doubt blame the swirling wind after letting Fish’s ball over the top of the defence bounce over his head. McDonald had the simple task of slotting home in front of an open goal.

The Gills had to defend in numbers at times during the first half, with big striker Clive Platt causing problems and coming close on a couple of occasions. Home keeper Stuart Nelson produced one great save to deny the striker from levelling, while good defending from Leon Legge also kept the Cobblers at bay.

Gillingham came agonisingly close to adding a second in the opening half. Charlie Lee’s throw found its way through to the back post and Burton’s impressive overhead kick fizzed narrowly wide.

The second half saw Adam Barrett and Andy Frampton take some time to recover from injuries. Both returned to the field, but the stoppages did little for the fluidity of the half.

The rain and wind didn’t let up for the whole game, making it tricky for both teams, and there were few goalscoring chances for either side in the second half as defences held firm.

It took until the 84th minute for the Gills to get their second and it was Weston who finished well to double the advantage, shooting across the keeper into the bottom corner after running on to a goal-kick from Nelson. It was his seventh goal of the season.

Gillingham: Nelson, Fish, Martin, Legge, Barrett, Gregory, Frampton, Lee (Allen 90mins), Weston (Kedwell 86mins), Burton, McDonald (Whelpdale 83mins). Subs not used:  Forecast, Strevens, Davies, Birchall.

Northampton: Nicholls, Widdowson, Guttridge (Akinfenwa 63mins), Hornby, Carlisle, Langmead, Harding, Hackett, Tozer, Robinson (Demontagnac 80mins), Platt. Subs not used: Johnson, Snedker, Wilson, Moult, Oyeleke.

Attendance: 5,600.

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