Gillingham 3 Swindon Town 1
Chris Whelpdale celebrates his first goal of
the game Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham secured a valuable victory at Priestfield against
Danny Kedwell put the Gills ahead midway through the first half
and early in the second Chris Whelpdale doubled the advantage.
That lead was halved when Alan McCormack unleashed a powerful
effort past Gills keeper Paulo Gazzaniga late on.
Whelpdale eventually converted an injury-time penalty to seal a
precious three points for the Gills, as they hang onto hopes of a
play-off place in League 2.
Gillingham had to soak up a fair amount of pressure early on
against a Swindon team looking to wrap up their promotion to League
Oliver Risser tried to catch Gazzaniga out early on but the
Argentine was alert and caught the attempted lob.
Chances at the other end were rare and Matt Fish’s shot almost
hit the watching police officers on the top of the control tower.
Later in the half he found his range, testing keeper Phil Smith
with a shot after a good run forward.
That effort from Fish came shortly after the Gills had taken the
lead. Charlie Lee – back in the starting eleven after recovering
from injury – hurled in a long throw and the flick from Kedwell
looped over the keeper and into the net on 26 minutes.
Gazzaniga got down well to deny Alan Connell, as Swindon
searched for an immediate reply, but Gillingham midfielder Lewis
Montrose smashed an audacious 20-yard effort against the bar. It
was still rattling as Chris Whelpdale headed narrowly wide moments
Lee Holmes put a good chance wide for Swindon early in the
second half after Danny Jackman had conceded possession.
With seven second half minutes gone the Gills doubled the lead
as Montrose and Whelpdale showed sheer determination to keep alive
an attack. When the ball fell to the latter he guided the ball past
the keeper with a great finish.
Gazzaniga got down well to save a powerful Ritchie effort just
before the hour mark while at the other end Jo Kuffour put
Whelpdale through on goal but the shot that followed went narrowly
After a lull in the action, the game burst back to life when
Swindon’s McCormack burst through the middle and drove a low and
powerful shot past Gazzaniga to make it 2-1 with just less than 10
Whelpdale forced Smith into making a good save in the last
minute but for the final minutes the Gills had to hang on, with
five additional minutes added.
Nerves were calmed when Curtis Weston was fouled in the box and
Whelpdale tucked away the resulting spot-kick. It was the last kick
of the game as the Gills got the win they craved, while Swindon
were promoted despite the defeat.
Gillingham: Gazzaniga, Martin, Fish, Frampton,
Essam, Montrose, Whelpdale, Lee (Spiller 71mins), Jackman, Kuffour
(Vine 74mins), Kedwell (Weston 83mins). Subs: King, Oli.
Swindon: P Smith, Caddis, McCormack, Flint,
McEveley, Ritchie, Ferry, Risser (J Smith 53mins), Bostock, Holmes
(Gabilondo 73mins), Connell (Murray 37mins). Subs: Scott, N
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