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Crewe 2 Gillingham 0: League 2 match report from Gresty Road

Gillingham failed to make their chances count at Crewe and paid the price.

Ethan Coleman hit the post and Macauley Bonne put a good effort wide as the Gills found themselves a goal down at the break against Crewe.

The Gills continued to threaten in the second half but couldn’t find the target and as Joe White added a late second for the hosts following Connor O’Riordan’s first-half goal.

Gillingham manager Neil Harris
Gillingham manager Neil Harris

It’s now four defeats for the Gills in League 2 as they dropped further in the table in what’s becoming a congested top-half.

There were two changes for the Gills as George Lapslie replaced Jonny Williams and Shaun Williams dropped out for Robbie McKenzie.

Crewe boasted an impressive run of form on home soil, 12 unbeaten before Tuesday night’s encounter, and they started the brighter before the Gills grew into the game.

Coleman struck the woodwork midway through the half for the Gills with a shot from distance while Cheye Alexander put a chance over the bar before the home side opened the scoring with half an hour gone.

A deep cross from Zac Williams was met at the back post by Connor O’Rirodan, who despite being under pressure from Coleman, did enough to divert the ball past Turner.

Gillingham should have gone into the break at least on level terms as they had the better of the first-half chances.

Goalkeeper Harvey Davies didn’t have a lot of time to react to a snap-shot from Lapslie but managed to save and then turned Coleman’s drive over the bar after the ball was cleared into the midfielder’s path.

The big chance for the Gills came shortly before the interval. Davies parried a save from McKenzie into the path of Bonne, who was admittedly stretching to reach the ball, but a great opportunity for him went wide of the post.

Manager Neil Harris changed things around for the second half as Tom Nichols joined Bonne upfront, sacrificing a defensive midfielder with Robbie McKenzie dropping into the right-back position after Alexander was withdrawn.

A fairly open start to the second half saw Turner save with his foot to deny Baker-Richardson while at the other end, Dom Jefferies lobbed an effort just over.

Gillingham were giving the Crewe defence plenty to think about and fresh legs were introduced for the last half hour as Jonny Williams replaced Lapslie.

The Gills continued to be wasteful infront of goal and Coleman put a great chance wide from a Mahoney corner with a powerful header.

With Ashley Nadesan on the for the final 15 minutes, the Gills had plenty of fire-power on the pitch but it was Crewe who struck again, with five minutes of normal time left.

One Crewe substitute provided for another as Aaron Rowe’s cross was met by White, in the clear, and although goalkeeper Turner got a hand to the shot he couldn’t keep the ball out as it dropped behind him into the net.

Crewe: Davies, Adebsi, Williams (Finney 64mins), Demetriou, Offord, Long (Holicek 46mins), Baker-Richardson (Nevitt 64mins), Tracey (Rowe 73mins), Tabiner, O’Riordan, Powell (White 73mins). Subs not used: Booth, Cooney.

Gillingham: Turner, Alexander (Nichols 46mins), Malone, Masterson, Ogie, McKenzie (Clarke 87mins), Coleman, Lapslie (J Williams 64mins), Jefferies (Nadesan 76mins), Mahoney, Bonne. Subs not used: Morris, Clark, Ehmer.

Referee: Daniel Middleton

Attendance: 3,427

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