Published: 16:30, 09 September 2017 |
Updated: 13:33, 10 September 2017
Gillingham were soundly beaten as their miserable run was extended at Oxford.
Jack Payne put the hosts ahead early in the second half, signalling a rapid Gills collapse.
Joe Rothwell doubled the lead moments later and Rob Hall added a third. All three goals came in an eight-minute spell.
Gabriel Zakauani returned from international duty, one of three changes to the XI, but the Gills couldn’t keep the hosts out. Oxford were more creative on the ball and the pressure on the visiting goal eventually paid off.
Jake Hessenthaler made his first league appearance of the season in place of Billy Bingham (concussion) while Conor Wilkinson replaced Liam Nash upfront.
The Gills were eight without a win in League 1 prior to their match at the Kassam Stadium. That run was stretched to nine as Oxford ran away with it early in the second half, scoring the goals that their first half showing had warranted.
Gillingham made a bright start to the match and should have been ahead with six minutes gone, after Lee Martin picked out Wilkinson with a cross. The Gills striker, who was unmarked, missed the target with his header.
Ben Nugent headed a corner over the bar soon after but Oxford moved up a gear with 15 minutes left, bossing the rest of the half and limiting the Gills to just half chances.
John Obika missed a glorious opportunity for the hosts, blazing a shot into the car park from eight yards out after Rob Hall had laid the ball into his path. It looked like being a certain goal.
Oxford forward Jack Payne was a constant menace for the Gills, linking up some great moves for the hosts, but they reached the break on level terms, without a goal.
Tomas Holy had made several saves, but despite the pressure he hadn’t been overly troubled. For the Gills, Tom Eaves was denied by Curtis Nelson’s good block and Mark Byrne put a shot wide.
Oxford kept the pressure up from the off in the second half and were soon rewarded, three minutes from the restart. Rob Hall had a shot saved and when Obika found Payne, the forward found the net with a flicked effort from close-range.
Oxford proceeded to then finish the Gills off, scoring twice more within 10 minutes. Rothwell raced clear to double the lead after a good interchanged between himself and Payne.
A third goal soon arrived as the Gills were left chasing shadows. Zakuani found himself in no-man’s land, trying to fend off two oxford players. Obika found Hall and his shot crept in past Holy’s near post.
Pennock swapped his strikers immediately, but it was a hopeless task by then.
Substitute Wes Thomas diverted a Ricardinho cross over the bar just moments after coming on the pitch, with the goal open, as Oxford looked to increase the misery for Gillingham.
There were rare chances at the other end. Martin forced a save from underworked home keeper Simon Eastwood with 20 minutes left and Hessentaler put a shot wide.
Substitute Max Ehmer volleyed wide for Gills while Holy had to stay alert in goal, getting down low to deny Gino Van Kassell from a 90th minute fourth.
Gillingham: Holy, Ogilvie, Wagstaff, Lacey, Zakuani (Ehmer 76mins), Nugent, Martin, Byrne, Hessenthaler, Eaves (Parker 57mins), Wilkinson (Nash 57mins). Subs not used: Arnold, O’Neill, Oldaker, Clare.
Oxford: Eastwood, Carroll, Ricardinho, Mousinho, Nelson, Ledson, Rothwell, Henry (Van Kessel 59mins), Hall, Payne (Thomas 65mins), Obika (Mowatt 65mins). Subs not used: Shearer, Martin, Ruffels, Williamson.
Attendance: 6,730 (382 away)
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.