Gillingham 2 Exeter City 3
Matt Fish takes a tumble as
Gills lose 3-2 to Exeter. Picture: Barry
Gillingham suffered a setback in their pursuit of the League 2
title after losing to Exeter City at Priestfield on Tuesday
The Gills took a fourth-minute lead through
Chris Whelpdale but Alan Gow’s free-kick and Jamie Cureton’s
close-range effort in the second half put Exeter 2-1 ahead.
A screamer from Danny Jackman levelled it up
again late on, but Cureton gave Exeter the points on 87 minutes
just seconds after missing a penalty.
It was only Gillingham’s third defeat of the
season and the first time in the league they had conceded more than
two goals in a game.
There were three changes to the starting XI
for the Gills, with manager Martin Allen bringing Charlie Lee,
Charlie Allen and Deon Burton into the team.
With just two minutes gone Matt Fish lobbed a
shot on to the roof of the crossbar and moments later a throughball
from Lewis Montrose found Whelpdale and he tucked the ball under
keeper Artur Krysiak.
Lee put a header wide for the Gills but the
visitors levelled things up on 27 minutes as Gow curled a free-kick
into the top corner after Lee had been penalised for a foul. His
booking was to cost him his place in the second half.
The Gills ended the half strong, with a couple
of crosses from Jackman presenting both Burton and Ben Strevens
with chances but neither could convert their headers.
Lee had also seen a glancing header cleared
from the foot of the post from an Allen corner as the hosts went
into the break knowing they needed to keep up the pressure in the
second 45 minutes.
Strevens headed another chance wide early in
the second half but it was Exeter who took the lead in the
54th minute when a corner ball found its way through a crowd of
bodies and Cureton smashed it home in front of the 144 travelling
Second-half substitute Myles Weston curled a
shot narrowly wide on the hour after a dazzling turn left his
marker rooted to the spot. Weston was causing plenty of problems
down the left but the Gills were always susceptible to being hit on
With 11 minutes left, and Gills facing a real
challenge to get back into the game, Jackman was alert enough to
pick up a stray ball and smash it home beyond Krysiak into the top
There was late drama as Romain Vincelot’s foul
on Jimmy Keohane led to a penalty which Stuart Nelson saved from
Cureton, but just a minute later the same player headed home Liam
Gills attempted to hit back with a late
equaliser and Whelpdale hit the bar but it was the visitors who
took all three points.
Gillingham: Nelson, Fish, Jackman, Barrett,
Davies, Montrose (Vincelot 60mins), Whelpdale, Allen, Lee (Weston
46mins), Strevens (Kedwell 70mins), Burton. Subs not used: Essam,
Frampton, Birchall, Forecast.
Exeter: Krysiak, Tully, Woodman, Bennett,
Baldwin, Coles, Sercombe, Oakley, Gow, Cureton (Chamberlain
90mins), Doherty (Keohane 84mins). Subs not used: Amankwaah,
Nichols, Dawson, Evans, Taylor.
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