Gillingham 2 Swindon Town 0
Gillingham goalscorer Michael Harriman Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham scored a goal in each half to sink rivals Swindon Town at Priestfield.
The Gills took a first half lead against the play-off chasers through Leon Legge and doubled their advantage with a goal from Michael Harriman.
Swindon rarely troubled the Gillingham goal as the home side netted all three points in the League 1 clash.
There were three changes to Gills’ starting XI, as both Craig Fagan and Bradley Dack dropped to the bench. Leading scorer Danny Kedwell missed out after finally undergoing his hernia operation.
Loanee Elliott Hewitt made a return to the Gills team, following his recent injury while Adebayo Akinfenwa and Myles Weston returned for Peter Taylor’s side.
The Gills, looking to make amends from a poor showing last time out, started Saturday’s match well and with 17 minutes gone they took the lead.
Joe Martin swung in a free-kick and Legge was there to meet the cross with a header that he powered beyond the reach of visiting keeper Wes Foderingham.
The Gills had the better of the first half chances and Cody McDonald – who was being watched by his celebrity friend Olly Murs in the stands - put a great chance wide on 28 minutes, after being sent clear by Michael Harriman.
On the half-hour Harriman, who was playing on the right of midfield, smashed a shot at goal and saw it go narrowly over, clipping the top of the bar on the way into the Town End.
Swindon’s best chance of the half fell to Yaser Kasim but his goalbound effort couldn’t beat Gills keeper Stuart Nelson. The goalie stuck out a foot and his block sent the ball looping over the bar.
Just before the break Harriman once more sent McDonald in on goal, but again the chance went wide.
The second half took a while to get going, not helped by the injury interruption from visiting defender Grant Hall. A chance on the hour came Gills way but Akinfenwa headed wide, on the stretch, from Harriman’s cross.
Five minutes later Swindon had a chance from a central free-kick but Pritchard put the effort into the arms of a grateful Nelson.
Gillingham made the points safe with six minutes left when Martin forced his way into the box and his low cross found its way to Harriman. The QPR loanee drilled the shot home low and hard.
Gillingham: Nelson, Martin, Harriman, Legge, Barrett, Hewitt, Hessenthaler, Gregory, Weston (Dack 68mins), Akinfenwa (Fagan 76mins), McDonald. Subs not used: Howard, Linganzi, Davies, Smith, Marriott.
Swindon: Foderingham, N Thompson (Byrne 72mins), Branco, Ward, Hall (Barker 48mins), McEveley, Kasim, Luongo, Mason (N'Guessan 79mins), Pritchard, Ranger. Subs not used: Belford, Harley, L Thompson, Storey.
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