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Concord Rangers 1 Gillingham 2

Gillingham came from behind to beat Concord Rangers on Tuesday night.

A free header from a corner led to Concord taking an 18 minute lead.

Steve King was the man with the goal as the National League South side looked bright early on.

Manager Justin Edinburgh Picture: Barry Goodwin
Manager Justin Edinburgh Picture: Barry Goodwin

Luke Norris levelled in the second half for the Gills as they improved after the break and former Concord youth player Billy Knott won it with a last minute penalty.

Gills boss Justin Edinburgh has named a strong XI but was injured players Deji Oshilaja, Aaron Morris and Bradley Garmston. A lack of defenders at the manager’s disposal showed as he was forced to put the likes of Emmanuel Osadebe into the back-line.

The manager looked a frustrated figure on the sidelines during the first half as the Gills struggled to make it count in attack but they were much better after the turnaround.

Jay Dowie had a couple of early efforts for Concord that went wide of the mark but the non-league side went ahead from Sam Collins’ corner.

Josh Wright – who began the match wearing the captain’s armband - had Gills’ first proper shot, after 26 minutes, but the long-range effort went straight to keeper Ben McNamara.

Gillingham’s best chance came just before half-time. Trialist Rhys Murrell-Williamson ran in on goal and crossed for Bradley Dack, who was alert in the box. His chance was blocked, however, as was Mark Byrne’s follow-up from distance.

The Gills switched their defence around at the break with youngster Mitch Dickenson partnering midfielder Osadebe in the centre. Edinburgh stuck with the 4-4-2 formation, playing a diamond midfield.

A brighter start to the second half from Edinburgh’s men brought them an equaliser.

Byrne had already seen a long-range effort tipped over the bar before Norris slid onto a cross and levelled the scores with 52 minutes gone.

Elliot List had a half-chance that the keeper gathered and Rory Donnelly dipped a free-kick over the bar but clear-cut opportunities were hard to find.

In the final minute Gills were awarded a penalty after a foul on Donelly and Billy Knott netted.

Gillingham are back in Essex on Wednesday night when they take on Billericay.

Gillingham: Nelson (Hadler 46mins), Jackson (Lelan 46mins), Ehmer (Osadebe 46mins), Dickenson (Cundle 67mins), Williams (Wraight 46mins), Wright (Oldaker 60mins), Byrne (Martin 60mins), Murrell-Williamson (Knott 46mins), Dack (Hessenthaler 60mins), Norris (List 63mins), McDonald (Donnelly 60mins).

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