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Sheffield United 1 Gillingham 2

Cody McDonald. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Cody McDonald. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Peter Taylor’s reign as permanent Gills manager started with a win at Sheffield United.

Danny Kedwell put the Gills ahead early on with his ninth goal of the season but United levelled through Chris Porter soon after.

But the Gills were back ahead just three minutes after the restart through Cody McDonald and this time the lead stuck.

Taylor made five changes to the team that laboured to a draw against Brackley in the Fa Cup.

All three of Taylor’s new signings, John Mousinho, Craig Fagan and Elliott Hewitt all started, while Danny Hollands returned to midfield and Leon Legge was also back after a ban.

It took the Gills just eight minutes to silence the 15,000 home fans as a terrible backpass from Harry Maguire left England under-21 keeper George Long in difficulty and Kedwell pounced, getting just enough on the ball to see it go over the line.

United responded well and put the pressure on, with a series of corners. A goal-line clearance from Hewitt prevented one flag-kick from being converted but the home side’s persistence eventually paid off. From Simon Lappin’s 18 minute corner, Porter rose highest to nod the ball home.

Gillingham had already seen Steven Gregory limp off before Danny Kedwell trudged off just after United’s goal, with an impact injury picked up while scoring his goal.

United came close to taking a first half lead, with striker Shaun Miller twice going close. One effort was fired narrowly wide and another shot moments later was well saved by keeper Stuart Nelson.

Gillingham gradually got back into the game and began to frustrate the home crowd, as they chased United down whenever the home side got the ball. The visitors ended the half well and were worthy of the 1-1 scoreline.

Taylor’s men could have even gone into the break ahead. Fagan picked out McDonald but after beating several men, he was eventually out-numbered and his opportunity was snuffed out.

The Gills were back infront early in the second half when Mousinho’s effort bounced off the bar and McDonald was quickest to react, scoring infront of a jubilant 617 away supporters.

United again responded by bossing possession but Gillingham put bodies behind the ball to maintain their lead, leaving Nelson well protected. Aidy White fizzed a shot an inch wide with 20 minutes left on the clock, while Porter put one chance over and once wide for the hosts.

Gillingham: Nelson, Martin, Hewitt, Legge, Barrett, Gregory (Dack 14mins), Mousinho, Hollands, Whelpdale, Fagan (Weston 79mins), Kedwell (McDonald 19mins). Howard, Hessenthaler, Davies, Akinfenwa.

Sheff Utd: Long, White, Maguire, Hill (McGinn 72mins), Flynn (Taylor 79mins), Doyle, Porter, Miller, Collins, Lappin (Baxter 64mins), McMahon. Subs not used: Howard, Taylor, Cuvelier, Coady, King 

Attendance: 16,560

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