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Luke Rooney goes close for Gills at AFC Wimbledon
Luke Rooney goes close for Gills at AFC Wimbledon

Luke Rooney tries Gillingham to get Gillingham back into the game against AFC Wimbledon Picture: Barry Goodwin

by Luke Cawdell

Gillingham conceded three first half goals and tasted defeat at the hands of AFC Wimbledon.

Andy Hessenthaler’s side conceded three goals in a nightmare 12 minute spell early in the first half and didn’t get back into the game until Charlie Lee struck with just over 20 minutes left.

The Gills were unable to add to their goal tally despite pressing well in the latter stages.

The visitors were a goal down after just 10 minutes when a long clearance from the back eluded the visiting defence and Christian Jolley was allowed a free run at goal. He finished well past keeper Ross Flitney.

The Gills conceded another just two minutes later and Jolley was the man doing the damage again, this time converting Sammy Hatton’s cross. Jolley squeezed in a header after beating Matt Fish to the ball.

Ten minutes later and the Gills found themselves three goals down as a mix-up at the back allowed Jack Midson to capitalise. Chris Whelpdale and Fish combined to allow Midson in and he stroked the ball home.

Gillingham had their first shot on target with 32 minutes gone when Whelpdale’s cross was chested down by Danny Jackman and he shot on the turn, but keeper Seb Brown comfortably held on.

The first half ended better than it began with the Gills putting the pressure on, helped by a change, after Curtis Weston was added to the midfield and Danny Jackman moved to left-back.

Goals failed to arrive at the start of the second half and it prompted a change from boss Andy Hessenthaler as he handed Jo Kuffour his debut with 30 minutes left.

It was Kedwell who had the best of the early second half chances but from Frank Nouble’s cross he headed wide.

With 67 minutes gone the Gills did get a goal back when Weston laid the ball off for Lee and he found the top corner with an exquisite finish.

As the Gills pressed for another they were exposed at the back and Flitney was forced to make a good low save to deny Jolley. That chance came moments after Rooney’s cross only just eluded Kuffour.

Chances were coming at both ends and home keeper Brown pulled off a double save to firstly deny Kedwell and then Kuffour.

Rooney had an effort go wide after taking on a number of defenders as the game really opened up late on. Jolley, though, was a real threat on the break for AFC.

Gillingham: Flitney, Frampton, Fish, Richards, Lawrence (Weston 37mins), Jackman, Lee (Montrose 86mins), Whelpdale (Kuffour 59mins), Rooney, Kedwell, Nouble. Subs not used: Gazzaniga, S Payne.

AFC Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Gwillim (Johnson 5mins), S Moore, L Moore (Mulley 30mins), Stuart, McNaughton, Minshull (Porter 78mins), Yussuff, Midson, Jolley. Subs not used: Turner, Kiernan.

Attendance: 4,606

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