Published: 16:40, 24 February 2018
Gillingham were second best to bottom side Bury on Saturday.
The Gills turned in a poor first half performance which left them two goals down.
Connor Ogilvie headed in for the Gills after the break, giving them hope with 20 minutes left, but Bury held on for a deserved win.
Gillingham were up against a Bury side scrapping for their League 1 survival, 10 points from safety.
There was just one change to the Gills starting eleven with Lee Martin replacing the ineligible Callum Reilly – the loan midfielder unable to play against his parent club.
The Gills started positively enough, on a pitch that was heavily sanded, but it didn’t take long before Bury got on top, Zeli Ismail over-hitting a few crosses before the home side began to show some quality.
Bury opened the scoring on 13 minutes as Neil Danns hit a shot from distance, an effort Tomas Holy would have usually saved comfortably, but it ended up in the back of the net.
The visitors continued to dominate the half and got a second midway through the half. Bury’s second goal similar to the one they conceded at Shrewsbury in the week. Ismail got to the byline and pulled back for Harry Bunn to score.
Chances continued for the hosts, with George Miller going close after evading a couple of tackles. His shot was deflected wide. Luke O’Neill also made a block as Bunn got in on goal.
Lovell made a tactical switch, moving centre-back Max Ehmer into midfield, adopting a 4-4-2 formation instead of a wing-back system, before taking leading scorer Tom Eaves off.
Eaves, up against his former club, was subbed with three minutes of the half left, heading straight for the tunnel as Conor Wilkinson took to the field in a straight swap.
Gillingham ended the half without a shot on target.
Ehmer dropped back into defence for the second half as Scott Wagstaff replaced Gabriel Zakuani, who had picked up a knock.
Bury started the second half the better, Nathan Cameron going close before Ehmer had to block an effort on the line, denying Miller after Holy had saved Ismail’s initial effort.
Ben Nugent headed wide for the Gills and Josh Parker almost got on the end of a Luke O’Neill cross but the home side had continued to look the more threatening.
The Gills had enjoyed their best moments from the right flank and it was from there that Wagstaff crossed for Ogilvie and his header squirmed through keeper Connor Ripley. It was Gills’ first effort on target with 69 minutes gone.
Rohan Ince flashed a shot wide for Bury while Mark Byrne went close for the Gills with six minutes left. Gillingham continued to look for a leveller, having another penalty appeal turned down and even keeper Tomas Holy having a shot saved, but Bury took the points.
Bury: Ripley, Leigh, Edwards, Ismail, Miller (Hanson 88mins), O’Shea (Tutte 85mins), Cameron, Ince, Danns, Bunn (Thompson 90mins), Clarke. Subs: Murphy, Maguire, Dawson, Dai.
Gillingham: Holy, O’Neill, Ogilvie, Nugent, Ehmer, Zakuani (Wagstaff 46mins), Byrne, Hessenthaler, Martin, Parker, Eaves (Wilkinson 43mins). Subs: Hadler, Garmston, List, Nasseri, Moussa.
Attendance: 3,004 (184 away)