Home   Kent   News   Article

Gillingham 1 Rochdale 2

Myles Weston takes on Matty Pearson
Myles Weston takes on Matty Pearson

Myles Weston takes on Matty Pearson Picture: Barry Goodwin

Gillingham suffered their first league defeat of the season with defeat to Rochdale.

A goal from Andrew Tutte handed them the lead at the break and the Gills had it all to do after Danny Jackman was red carded for a late challenge.

Bobby Grant doubled the lead just before the hour but the Gills pulled a goal back when Danny Kedwell netted from the penalty spot.

It was Gillingham’s first defeat of the season in League 2 after nine games but they remain top.

Gills boss Martin Allen elected to keep with the same starting XI for the first time this season, with the only change coming on the bench, where fit-again Myles Weston came in for Adam Birchall.

But the home side found themselves on the back-foot in the early stages with keeper Stuart Nelson being forced into making a couple of saves.

With 15 minutes gone Rochdale’s pressure paid off when Jason Kennedy played a quick corner to Tutte and from the edge of the box he smashed the ball across the Gills keeper and into net.

Gills best move of the half ended with a shot from Matt Fish that went well over and just as Allen’s side were getting to grips with the match they were reduced to 10 men.

Jackman went in hard on Tutte and referee David Phillips deemed it worthy of an early exit for the Gills man. 33 minutes had been played and the home side were facing their biggest test of the league season so far.

A change in formation saw Deon Burton left on his own upfront with Robbie Findley being brought off for Myles Weston. Almost immediately Weston created some good moves down the left but Rochdale held out until half-time.

And only a timely block from Tom Flanagan denied Dale doubling the advantage before the break, when he slid in to take the ball off George Donnelly, after he had broken the off-side trap.

Two changes at the break saw the Gills start with leading scorer Danny Kedwell upfront and Charlie Allen in midfield.

The Gills made a bright start to the second 45 minutes against a Rochdale team happy to sit on their one goal cushion and hit the hosts on the break.

It was from a break that Rochdale hit their second with 59 minutes gone. A defence-splitting pass found Grant and after his first shot was saved by Nelson he tucked home the rebound.

Kedwell was the man to give Gills hope as he netted his fifth penalty of the season after Chris Whelpdale had been pushed over in the box by Donnelly.

Grant should have sealed it with eight minutes left, with a simple tap-in to an open goal, but after Donnelly laid the ball into his path he lost his composure and that enabled Nelson to slid in and keep the Gills in the match.

Donnelly himself blasted a shot narrowly wide in the dying minutes but in the end Rochdale didn’t need a third, as they won it 2-1.

Gillingham: Nelson, Fish, Flanagan, Barrett, Martin, Whelpdale, Montrose (Allen 46mins), Wright, Jackman, Findley (Weston 34mins), Burton (Kedwell 46mins). Subs: Forecast, Davies, Frampton, Strevens.

Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, Bennett, R Edwards, Kennedy, Tutte, Donnelly, P Edwards, Pearson, Adebola (Putterill 76mins), Grant. Subs: Barry-Murphy, Grimes, Curran, Craney, Byrne, Smith.

Attendance: 5,874

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More