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Crewe Alexandra 0 Gillingham 3

Myles Weston shows close control as Gills push forward against Crewe. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Myles Weston shows close control as Gills push forward against Crewe. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Gillingham registered their first win of the season on Saturday, at Crewe.

Martin Allen’s team started the afternoon bottom of League 1 and without a win to their name.

But there was only one team in it at Gresty Road.

The Gills were a goal ahead at the break, through striker Cody McDonald. Joe Martin made it 2-0 from a free-kick on the edge of the box early in the second half and captain Adam Barrett scored a third.

Gills boss Martin Allen made his feelings clear last weekend, following the defeat to Bradford. He responded by making four changes, including dropping Leon Legge for the first time.

Replacing Legge in central defence was Callum Davies, who had previously made just one appearance, in the Capital One Cup game against Bristol City.

Also returning to the starting XI for the match were Chris Whelpdale, Steven Gregory and striker Danny Kedwell.

The Gills went into the game knowing that another winless 90 minutes would equal their worst start to a Football League season. They had failed to win any of their previous eight league encounters.

Crewe’s League 1 campaign hadn’t gone to plan either, boasting just one win all season and their manager Steve Davis didn’t have much to smile about after the first 45 minutes.

By the end of the game his mood wouldn’t have improved. The home fans booed their team off at the break after the Gills dominated and made their feelings clear at full-time as well.

First half chances were still at a premium but most fell to Allen’s men, as early efforts from Danny Hollands and McDonald went wide.

The Gills took a 40 minute lead but it could have been a different story had referee Oliver Langford pointed to the spot, when Crewe’s Max Clayton went down in the box under a challenge from keeper Stuart Nelson.

Immediately the Gills went down the other end, Charlie Lee found McDonald and the striker’s shot squirmed under keeper Steve Phillips.

Within five minutes of the restart the Gills doubled their advantage.

Hollands had done well to win the ball and he picked out Lee, only for the Gills man to be upended on the edge of the box. From the resulting free-kick Joe Martin curled the ball into the top corner.

Five minutes later and Lee, who was busy all afternoon, saw his shot hit the base of the post. He ran at goal after robbing Crewe’s Thierry Audel of possession.

Crewe’s Vadaine Oliver almost scored within seconds of coming on but Nelson made a good save, inbetween efforts from McDonald and Whelpdale, that both went close at the other end.

Nelson had to save from Oliver again moments later and also had to tip a long-range effort wide from Thierry Audel.

Gillingham silenced Crewe with a third goal on 70 minutes, as Barrett hooked the ball home, after Crewe failed to clear from Whelpdale's long throw.

The Gills coasted to the final whistle to claim their first away win since February and one which will hopefully kick-start their season.

Gillingham: Nelson, Harriman, Martin, Davies, Barrett, Gregory, Whelpdale (Dack 77mins), Hollands (Allen 77mins), Lee, McDonald (Weston 68mins), Kedwell. Subs not used: Howard, Legge, Linganzi, Akinfenwa

Crewe: Phillips, Davis (Ray 9mins), Ellis, Osman, Leitch-Smith, Moore, Inman, Guthrie, Turton, Audel, Clayton. Subs not used: Garrett, Oliver, Molyneux, Aneke, Colclough, Grant.

Attendance: 4,254

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