Published: 16:40, 02 September 2017
Gillingham’s poor early season form continued on Saturday.
The Gills’ bright start at Priestfield counted for nothing as goals from Carlton Morris and Alex Rodman put Shrewsbury in charge of the League 1 contest.
Josh Parker halved the deficit with 14 minutes left but despite late pressure Ady Pennock’s men were left empty-handed.
Scott Wagstaff started for Gillingham as boss Pennock switched formation, preferring to go 4-4-2, with Max Ehmer dropping to the bench.
Pennock had started with wing-backs for the four previous league games but changed that midway through last weekend’s game against Southend, a move that paid off. He kept that formation for the midweek Checkatrade Trophy match against Southend, earning a 2-1 win.
Gillingham went into Saturday’s game searching for their first league win while the visitors were looking to preserve their unbeaten start to the season.
By the break it was going to form.
The Gills conceded a poor first goal, after 30 minutes, when Rodman pulled the ball back and Morris fired into the roof of the net from 10 yards. The hosts had missed several chances to clear.
Lee Martin put a chance wide for the Gills after Liam Nash’s cross caught under his feet. Shrewsbury showed their ruthless side again moments later.
A fine cross from Shaun Whalley was met at the back post by Rodman, heading home to double the lead in the 37 minute.
Gillingham had started the game brightly enough, missing a good early chance when Tom Eaves shot at the keeper. Chances wise it was six-apiece at the break but Shrewsbury had the cutting edge where it mattered.
The Gills offered little goal threat in the opening stages of the second half. Eaves won the ball on the byline early on, showing great determination, but the cross was over-hit.
Pennock introduced Josh Parker and new signing Sean Clare to try and find a way back into the match, reverting back to wing-backs for the final stages. Byrne lashed a shot wide for Gills with just over 20 minutes left.
Gillingham were back in the game when Parker headed home Scott Wagstaff’s excellent cross.
Billy Bingham sent a rising long-distance effort over the bar with 10 minutes left. Eaves had a deflected shot saved as Gills pushed for an equaliser.
Bingham and Parker both had shots blocked as the Gills tried but failed to find another goal.
Gillingham: Holy; O’Neill (Clare 66mins), Ogilvie, Lacey, Nugent; Bingham, Byrne, Martin (Cundle 81mins), Wagstaff; Nash (Parker 61mins), Eaves. Subs not used: Arnold, Ehmer, Hessenthaler, Oldaker.
Shrewsbury: MacGillivray, Brown, Bolton, Sadler, Nsiala, Ogogo, Godfrey, Whalley (Beckles 87mins), Nolan, Rodman (John-Lewis 83mins), Morris (Payne 66mins). Subs: Coyne, Adams, Dodds, Gnahoua.
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