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Crewe Alexandra 2 Gillingham 0: Christopher Long and Tom Lowery score in League 1 clash

Gillingham hit the woodwork twice as they were beaten by bottom side Crewe on Saturday.

Christopher Long gave home side Crewe an early lead but Gillingham were denied an equaliser as Jack Tucker and Harvey Lintott hit the post either side of half-time. Tom Lowery hit a second for the home side in the last minute.

Gillingham manager Steve Evans watched his side lose at Crewe
Gillingham manager Steve Evans watched his side lose at Crewe

Mustapha Carayol was back involved, on the bench alongside another called-up youngster, Sam Gale. The 17-year-old scholar was one of three youth team players involved, with Gerald Sithole and Bailey Akeurst starting.

Gillingham had seven senior players missing with injury but home side Crewe had troubles of their own and there wasn’t much optimism around the ground from the locals before kick off. The hosts started the afternoon rock bottom with just one point from their previous six outings in the league.

Crewe took a one-goal lead into the break but missed several other good chances to put the game beyond the Gills.

The opener came on 11 minutes through Long, who had already had a shot deflected wide with another saved by keeper Jamie Cumming before he found the net. Rio Adebisi’s deep cross was met by Scott Kashket and he pulled it back for Long to fire into the roof of the net.

Dan Adshead had a shot blocked for the Gills before Kashket wasted a great chance to add a second. The lively wideman was put in on goal but couldn’t beat Cumming.

Despite the home side dominating the Gills were almost handed a lifeline when home keeper David Richards had to tip over a header from his own defender Luke Offord. From the subsequent corner Tucker swept a shot onto the outside of the post.

Visiting boss Steve Evans made a tactical change with Akehurst - who had been playing on the left of midfield - being replaced with fellow youngster Harvey Lintott. The oncoming player was utilised on the right of a three-man unit supporting Akinde.

Lintott forced a save from the keeper shortly after his introduction and there was a golden chance for Akinde late in the half. Home fans were screaming offside but he burst through and was denied by Richards as he shot low.

Crewe were less of a threat after the turnaround and Lintott had a goalbound shot blocked for the visitors as they looked to make something happen.

Lintott had one shot blocked and came agonisingly close to an equaliser from Dan Adshead’s corner but his header came off the post. Sithole was unable to convert on the follow-up as keeper Richards and a defender combined to keep it out.

Goalscorer Long could have sealed it for Crewe on 81 minutes when the ball was played to him but with the whole goal to aim for he struck his shot off the top of the bar.

Former Gills striker Mikael Mandron had a chance to score the second, running with the ball on the break. He had options to pass but took the shot on and Cumming saved comfortably.

Lowery made it 2-0 on 90 minutes after a one-two with a team-mate before scoring in off the post.

Reaction: Boss highlights missing players after Crewe defeat

Gillingham: Cumming, Jackson, McKenzie (Gbode 83mins), Ehmer, Tucker, Phillips, Adshead (Carayol 70mins), Akehurst (Akehurst 36mins), O’Keefe, Sithole, Akinde. Subs not used: Chapman, Gale.

Crewe: Richards, Adebisi, Williams, Offord, Long (Mandron 82mins), Lowery, Porter, Murphy, Gomes (Finney 46mins), Sass-Davies, Kashket (Thomas 90mins). Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Knight, McFadzean, Griffiths.

Attendance: 4,047 (300 away)

Referee: Anthony Backhouse

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