Published: 16:40, 22 March 2014
Gillingham lost out to relegation rivals Crewe at Priestfield on Saturday.
Amine Linganzi’s first goal for Gills cancelled out Chuks Aneke’s early opener for Crewe.
But Crewe were back infront early in the second half with Aneke’s second and Gills’ misery was complete when Matthias Pogba scored the third late on.
Crewe’s Anthony Grant was sent off for two bookable offences late on but it came too late in the game for Gills to capitalise.
Defeat was a big lift for Crewe, who started the day in the League 1 drop-zone, but a worry for the Gills, who still need a couple of wins to ensure safety.
Boss Peter Taylor started with Adebayo Akifenwa and Cody McDonald upfront and also brough Steven Gregory straight back into the team, following last week’s illness absence.
Michael Harriman returned from a hamstring injury, making his first appearance in over a month.
Visitors Crewe had won on each of their last three visits to Priestfield and scored 10 goals in the process. They looked the better of the sides from the off on Saturday.
It took the visitors four minutes to open the scoring. Uche Ikpeazu got the better of Gills defender Adam Barrett and his cross caused problems which the hosts couldn’t solve. Anthony Grant’s miss-hit shot reached Aneke and he scored.
The Gills did have the ball in the net soon after, through Harriman, but the flag had gone up for a foul on keeper Ben Garratt by Adebayo Akinfenwa.
It took the Gills a while to find their way into the game but the equaliser came on the half-hour. Elliott Hewitt’s cross found its way to Linganzi and he nodded past Garratt.
The visiting keeper had looked vulnerable to crosses and he got lucky when catching outside the area before the Gills had equalised. Referee Stephen Bratt took no action.
A vicious shot from Crewe’s Bradden Inman was well held by Gills keeper Stuart Nelson – a sign that the visitors were still a threat.
At the other end, Garratt did tip a Barrett header over as the Gills ended the half a lot better than they started it. Cody McDonald also saw a bicycle-kick go narrowly wide.
Gills’ hopes of completing a turnaround suffered a blow just eight minutes into the second half. Moments after Akinfenwa had headed a chance into Garratt’s arms, a cross at the other end from Matt Tootle was headed in by Aneke, for his second of the match.
Only a good save from Nelson denied George Evans from making it 3-1 just before the hour. The Gills keeper was left screaming at his defence after a mix-up gifted the Crewe man a chance.
Taylor introduced more attacking options, with Charlie Lee and Bradley Dack joining the action just after the hour. But it was Adam Barrett who almost levelled, with a powerful effort that just shaved the outside of Garratt’s post.
Lee’s energy from midfield gave Crewe something extra to think about and he made big appeals for a penalty, after one of the visiting defenders appeared to handle in the box. Bratt was again uninterested.
It was Crewe that added to their tally with seven minutes left and it was a classy finish from Pogba, deceiving keeper Nelson, as he back-heeled a cross into the net.
Crewe finished the game with 10 men, as Grant collected two bookings in two minutes, both for dissent. His second yellow card came on 90 minutes.
A good save from Garratt in stoppage-time denied McDonald from pulling one back.
Gillingham: Nelson, Martin, Hewitt, Legge, Barrett, Gregory (Lee 63mins), Harriman (Dack 63mins), Linganzi (Pigott 81mins), Weston, Akinfenwa, McDonald. Subs not used: Baxter, Davies, Fagan, Hessenthaler.
Crewe: Garratt, Tootle, Ellis, Dugdale, Pogba, Inman, Guthrie, Evans (Osman 77mins), Aneke, Ikpeazu (Mellor 90mins), Grant. Subs not used: Phillips, Leitch-Smith, Moore, Ray, Park.
Attendance: 5,767 (153 visiting)