Gillingham 2 Morecambe 1
by Luke Cawdell
Deon Burton hit an injury-time winner for
Gillingham against Morecambe.
With three minutes of added on time played
Burton, seen celebrating his winner with Chris
Whelpdale, right, collected a long ball forward with
a fantastic first touch and volleyed home into the roof
of the net.
It was Burton’s seventh goal of the season and
handed the Gills all three points from a tricky test against lowly
The Gills are now seven points clear at the
top of League 2, following a draw for second -placed Port Vale.
Lewis Montrose put the Gills ahead shortly
before the break but it was all-square when Morecambe substitute
Jack Redshaw struck with 20 minutes left.
Gills manager Martin Allen made four changes
to his starting XI, with Danny Kedwell returning up front, while
Andy Frampton, Callum Davies and Lewis Montrose also came into the
Jack Payne (ankle) was out injured but Charlie
Lee (ill) and Charlie Allen (hand) were both passed fit and started
the game on the bench.
The hosts made a frantic start to the match
and visiting keeper Barry Roche had to palm Matt Fish’s long-range
effort over the bar after just two minutes.
A number of corners and free-kicks for the
hosts failed to open Morecambe up and as the half wore on they grew
Kevin Ellison volleyed an early chance over
the bar while keeper Stuart Nelson averted a goal at his near post
after Izak Reid whipped the ball in for Richard Brodie, who was
waiting to pounce.
The Gills twice had penalty appeals turned
down by referee Tim Robinson. The first saw Kedwell wrestled to the
floor by Andrew Wright and the second left Romain Vincelot on the
deck after being tripped by Ellison.
At times it was end-to-end stuff but it was
the Gills who broke the deadlock when, on 37 minutes, Montrose
stroked the ball home after Roche could only punch Danny Jackman’s
free-kick into his path.
A switch at half-time saw Myles Weston come on
at the break for Ben Strevens. The substitute had an early shot at
goal which Roche had to get down low to save.
Gills midfielder Vincelot had keeper Nelson to
thank for rescuing him and the Gills just past the hour, after his
wayward pass fell to Reid. The Morecambe forward played Gary
McDonald through on goal but Gills’ No.1 was alert and rushed
out to snuff out the danger.
But the slender advantage was wiped out on 70
minutes as Ellison burst into the box and Redshaw was on hand to
side-foot the cross home into an empty net.
Gills sub Allen fired narrowly wide late on
and Kedwell headed wide in the last minute when the goalkeeper was
caught out of position.
With time running out Fish launched a ball
forward and Burton showed sublime quality to hit the winning
Gillingham: Nelson, Fish, Frampton (Burton
76mins), Barrett, Davies, Montrose, Jackman, Vincelot (Allen
64mins), Whelpdale, Strevens (Weston 46mins), Kedwell. Subs not
used: Forecast, Essam, Lee, Birchall.
Morecambe: Roche, Fenton, Reid (Alessandra
90mins), Wright, McCready, Drummond, Fleming, McDonald, Parrish,
Brodie (Redshaw 67mins), Ellison. Subs not used: Threlfall,
Parkinson, McGee, Arestidou.
Picture: Barry Goodwin
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