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Blackpool 1 Gillingham 0 – match report

A first-half penalty was enough to condemn the Gills to defeat at Blackpool.

Gillingham went into the break a goal down after conceding just before the interval.

It was to prove costly as they failed to find the net for the first time since a home loss to Burton in mid-December.

Bradley Dack Picture: Barry Goodwin
Bradley Dack Picture: Barry Goodwin

Adam Chicksen was named in the starting XI, replacing injured Bradley Garmston at left-back. Skipper Doug Loft was also back starting for Justin Edinburgh’s side.

Luke Norris kept his place up front but he limped off before half-time with another ankle injury.

It had been a first half of few clear-cut chances from either team, played in a bitter wind and intermittent hail showers.

Gills keeper Stuart Nelson had tried to catch his counterpart off his line from a free-kick, deep inside his own half, but Colin Doyle was alert to the danger and comfortably saved.

Doug Loft and Norris had shots deflected wide, while Dominic Samuel failed to find the target with a 20-yard effort.

Blackpool had barely threatened, with Nelson beating away a free-kick from Mark Yeates, but referee Andy Madley was well-placed when Yeates went to ground in the penalty area, from a Max Ehmer challenge, and Jack Redshaw converted from the spot.

There was an early second-half chance for Blackpool, from a corner, but Mark Cullen dragged the effort wide. It was a positive start by the home side, punctuated by Bradley Dack’s long-range effort that went wide.

Gillingham began to apply some sustained pressure as the game approached the hour mark. Ehmer was unlucky with a shot that was blocked.

At the other end Redshaw volleyed wide from a Cullen cross as the game opened up. Samuel had a shot blocked for the Gills and Brad Potts could only find a blue shirt with his drive from outside the box.

Energetic youngster Elliott List was introduced with 20 minutes left and he looked hungry to impress. Fellow Gills sub Brennan Dickenson fired wide after a surging run.

Gillingham: Nelson, Jackson, Chicksen (Dickenson 70mins), Egan, Ehmer, Wright, Loft, A Morris, Dack, Norris (Donnelly 37mins), Samuel (List 70mins). Subs not used: G Morris, Hessenthaler, McGlashan, Osadebe.

Blackpool: Doyle, Boyce, Ferguson, Aimson, Aldred, Potts, Norris (Herron 90mins), Yeates, Philliskirk, Redshaw (Robertson 65mins), Cullen (Ikpeazu 78mins). Subs not used: Letheren, Rivers, Odsayi-Samuel, Higham.

Attendance: 6,828 (499 away).

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