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Swindon Town 2 Gillingham 2

Danny Kedwell celebrates with Cody McDonald after Gills make it 2-2 Pic: Barry Goodwin
Danny Kedwell celebrates with Cody McDonald after Gills make it 2-2 Pic: Barry Goodwin

Cody McDonald hit a late equaliser to claim a point for the Gills at Swindon.

Gillingham were twice behind in the game but twice fought back into the League 1 clash at the County Ground.

Martin Allen’s men went behind to a 12 minute goal from Nathan Byrne but levelled things up just six minutes later when Danny Kedwell headed home.

Swindon retook the lead through Nathan Thompson midway through the second half but McDonald levelled with five minutes left.

The Gills were unchanged from last weekend’s team, which had earned their first point of the season, against Brentford.

And although the Gills made a positive start to the game they found themselves a goal behind.

Left-back Joe Martin was pulled out of position and Nathan Thompson had space on the flank to get in a cross, which Byrne converted from close range, despite Stuart Nelson getting a hand to the ball.

Danny Kedwell celebrates scoring the opening goal Pic: Barry Goodwin
Danny Kedwell celebrates scoring the opening goal Pic: Barry Goodwin

Swindon pressed for a second but a routine set-piece from the Gills got them back on level terms. Kedwell flicked on Chris Whelpdale’s throw and keeper Wes Foderingham was unable to save.

Nelson had to make a great save moments later to deny Darren Ward, whose shot was heading towards the top corner, while Byrne will have wished he did better from Jay McEveley’s cross. With space and time, he smashed the ball over.

Massimo Luongo also fired wide for the hosts from distance and Byrne again got in with sight of goal but couldn’t convert.

Again the Gills responded with simple but effective stuff.

Foderingham failed to hold onto Charlie Lee’s powerful free-kick but redeemed himself by saving Kedwell’s follow-up.

Lee was behind Gillingham’s best chances towards the end of the half. He guided a long range pass into the path of Myles Weston but the resulting shot was fired into the side netting.

Swindon were looking to pass their way through the Gills for their second goal but found no way through. And it was the Gills who went into the break almost taking the lead. Lee’s throw found Akinfenwa, but his header found the goalkeeper’s arms.

The Gills kept Swindon quiet at the start of the second half and introduced Bradley Dack themselves on the hour to give their own frontline fresh ideas. With an hour gone the goalscoring chances returned.

Danny Kedwell
Danny Kedwell

Nelson held onto Alex Pritchard’s flick at one end and it was Lee, again, who was involved for the Gills as they came close on 64 minutes. He curled an effort towards the top corner, with the outside of his boot from the edge of the box, but Foderingham saved.

With 69 minutes played Swindon were back infront as a left-wing cross was met by Nathan Thompson, who ran into the box unchallenged, and was able to plant a header past Nelson.

The Gills brought Antonio German on to add extra numbers to their attack but were caught on the break. Only Ryan Mason’s wasteful finish denied Swindon from going 3-1 up with 15 minutes left.

Gillingham’s second equaliser came with five minutes left. Leon Legge slid in for a challenge near the halfway line and the ball went upfield into the path of McDonald. The Gills striker took one touch to beat the defender before firing in low past the keeper. 

Gillingham: Nelson, Martin, Harriman, Legge, Barrett, Gregory, Whelpdale (Dack 62mins), Lee, Weston (German 75mins), Akinfenwa (McDonald 72mins), Kedwell. Subs: Howard, Davies, Allen, Grant.

Swindon: Foderingham, N Thompson, Ward, Byrne (Mason 66mins), Luongo, Hall, Harley, Kasim, McEveley, Ranger, Pritchard. Subs: Belford, L Thompson, Storey, Smith, Barthram, Archibald-Henville. 

Attendance: 7,520

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