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Dartford 1 Gillingham 2 – match report

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham turned around a one goal deficit to see off Dartford on Tuesday night.

A defensive mix-up led to Dartford taking a 14th minute lead through Ryan Hayes.

Emmanuel Osadebe levelled the scores early in the second half and Joe Quigley put the Gills ahead.

Gillingham in action against Dartford Picture Steve Crispe

Gillingham in action against Dartford Picture: Steve Crispe

Young keeper Tom Hadler started for the Gills while at the other end Luke Norris and Joe Quigley were paired upfront.

Quigley had a couple of early chances, heading off target and sending a shot well wide, just before Dartford opened the scoring.

Hadler came off his line to clear the danger, as the Gills hesitated at the back and when the ball was played to Hayes, he sent it back over the heads of the defence and into the net.

It was to be a frustrating half for the Gills, who did see plenty of the ball and weren’t short of quality in certain areas.

Left-back Paul Konchesky was demonstrating his range of passes while Billy Knott looked a threat whenever he got the ball. Lee Martin also got into a couple of good positions but couldn’t find a way through.

Martin saw a free-kick tipped over by keeper Deren Ibrahim while Jake Hessenthaler, who hadn’t been involved at the weekend, had a powerful effort saved after Ryan Jackson picked him out. That move was started by Konchesky’s excellent crossfield ball.

Knott had also sent in an inviting low cross but nobody was there on the end of it. Dartford were given few opportunities at goal in the half, with Ellis Brown bending one effort wide after taking on Konchesky.

Cody McDonald replaced Norris at the break and had an early chance, with a low shot that Ibrahim saved. A slick move involving Knott and Martin created the opportunity and the same pair were at it moments later, producing a chance for Quigley that went wide.

An equaliser soon arrived and it was Osadebe with the goal, sending a looping header into the far corner from a Jackson cross.

Despite Gillingham’s impressive start to the half they were indebted to a good block from Hadler, saving with his feet to deny Alex Brown.

Gillingham took the lead from a quality Martin free-kick, sending it in with pace, leaving Quigley only needing to make a slight touch to score.

Martin forced a save from Ibrahim with 20 minutes left as the Gills continued to boss the second half.

Young left-back Henry Arnold replaced Konchesky with 10 minutes left and almost got a goal, denied by the keeper after a powerful last-minute shot. 

Dartford: Ibrahim, Wood (Eweka 89mins), Wynter, Bonner, Vint, A Brown (Habte 78mins), Hayes (Seixas 56mins), Bradbrook (Gardiner 63mins), Harris (Francis 46mins), E Brown (Dembele 60mins), Wanadio (Mensah 81mins). Subs not used: Pugh, Coxall.

Gillingham:  Hadler, Jackson, Konchesky (Arnold 80mins), Osadebe, Ehmer, Oldaker (Byrne 72mins), Hessenthaler, Martin, Knott (Dack 84mins), Quigley (Donnelly 75mins), Norris (McDonald 46mins). Subs not used: Nelson, List, Dickenson, Cundle, Wright, O’Mara.

Attendance: 801

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