Gillingham 1 York City 1
Cody McDonald marked the start of his second
spell at Gillingham with the equaliser against York. Picture: Barry
New signing Cody McDonald pounced to rescue a point for
Gillingham at Priestfield on Saturday.
York took a surprise lead on 17 minutes as
Charlie Lee turned the ball into his own net.
Gillingham’s equaliser didn’t arrive until the 85th minute as
McDonald headed home to salvage something from the
It was a happy end to an otherwise
less-than-dominant performance for the Gills, as the run without a
home win was stretched to five games.
Victory would have seen Gillingham return
to the top of League 2 but the point gained leaves them a point
behind table-toppers Port Vale.
Gills boss Martin Allen made four changes
to his starting XI but resisted the temptation to put McDonald
straight in. He had to make do with a place on the bench.
Lee had come in as a replacement for Matt
Fish at right-back. It was the first time this season that Fish
failed to start a match.
Moments after Lee had hacked a dangerous
cross clear from in front of his own goal he deflected a Patrick
McLaughlin corner into the Gills net to give York the lead.
Gillingham’s best chances of the half fell
to captain and central defender Adam Barrett, but these were few
and far between. One header from Danny Kedwell’s cross went
narrowly over before keeper Michael Ingham produced a fantastic
one-handed save to deny another Barrett header.
The Gills were struggling to get in behind
York’s defence and before the half was over Allen decided to bring
Myles Weston on, to add a different dimension to their attack.
Weston made an immediate impact, forcing a
corner, and it was from Charlie Allen’s set-piece that Barrett came
agonisingly close to scoring the equaliser.
The Gills started the second half brightly,
with a change at the break, as Fish replaced Allen. It meant Lee
moving into midfield.
But despite the positive start Matty Blair
almost scored on the break soon after the restart, but put his shot
into the side-netting.
At the other end Leon Legge got his head to
a cross but saw the ball sail just over the bar.
McDonald’s arrival, with 55 minutes gone,
helped lift the atmosphere at Priestfield but visiting captain
Chris Smith almost doubled York’s advantage as he headed
McLaughlin’s free-kick against a post.
The game was opening up and Lee drilled a
low shot into the goalkeeper’s arms on the hour. Lee was almost
forced off with a head injury with 20 minutes to go, which would
have left the Gills down to 10 men, but after much discussion
between the medical staff he returned to the action.
A low free-kick from Chris Whelpdale forced
Ingham into making a save with 12 minutes left and moments
later he fired wildly over.
Lee was withdrawn briefly, following advice
from the club doctor, leaving the Gills a man down for several
minutes before the medical staff were satisfied with his
With five minutes of normal time remaining
McDonald guided home a Weston cross to level the scores and
mark his return in style in front of a delighted Rainham End.
McDonald came close to scoring a winner,
moments later, but Ingham held on to the header and a frantic
finish saw Blair put a great chance wide on the counter-attack,
under pressure from Fish.
Martin, Lee, Legge, Barrett, Frampton (Weston 38mins), Gregory,
Allen (Fish 46mins), Whelpdale, Kedwell, Birchall (McDonald
55mins). Subs not used: Davies, Burton, Forecast, Muggleton.
York City: Ingham,
Oyebanjo (Challinor 81mins), Smith, Parslow, Kerr, Walker, Blair,
Potts, O’Connell, McLaughlin, Rodman (Bullock 90mins). Subs not
used: Musselwhite, Johnson, McReady, Everson, Allan.
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