Gillingham eased to a big win over National South Dartford on Saturday.
Shaun Williams struck twice and Tim Dieng also scored as Gillingham took a three-goal lead into the break at Dartford. Second half goals from Dom Jefferies and Jayden Clarke completed the scoring for the dominant visitors.
Young striker Joe Gbode started up top for the Gills as Tom Nichols, the club’s only fit senior striker, was given a breather, with a place for him on the bench.
Chad Ogie was straight into the starting line-up for the Gills after signing in the week from Leyton Orient, showing good strength and vision in his first game for the club. Scott Malone, who has been training with the club this summer, wasn’t involved.
Saturday’s game came two weeks before both sides kick off their respective league campaigns and the Gills were by far the happier after the first 45 minutes.
Neil Harris’ League 2 side took a ninth-minute lead through Williams, moments after a low effort from the midfielder had been held by keeper Mitchell Beeney.
Williams’ second attempt at goal came on the volley, with the aid of a deflection, as Max Clark’s ball into the box was cleared into his path.
Gillingham were two up after 19 minutes. Dom Jefferies found George Lapslie, who in turn picked out Tim Dieng, and he slotted the ball home across the keeper into the bottom corner.
A third goal came from Williams. Not renowned for his goals, the Gillingham skipper met a Cheye Alexander corner at the near post and glances it past Beeney with 36 minutes on the clock.
Moments later visiting goalie Jake Turner needed to be at full stretch to keep out a header from Harvey Bradbury. Dartford went close again when Lewis Manor nodded an effort onto the bar and the Gills cleared off the line as Tommy Block looked to convert the loose ball.
Turner needed to be alert early in the second half. Luke Coulson’s dipping effort from 20 yards was heading in before the keeper got a big hand to the ball and turned it over.
Gillingham had a fourth in the 48th minute and it was a long ball forward from Ogie that started the move. Alexander and Jayden Clarke combined well on the right and Dom Jefferies was well-placed to convert the ball in at the back stick.
Gbode came close to a fifth but his effort bounced off the upright and another effort moments later bounced out for a corner off Block.
Alexander was denied by a Beeney save as the Gills kept the pressure on their non-league hosts.
A flowing forward move involving substitutes Tom Nichols and Jonny Williams ended with a shot from Clarke, fired in at a good height for Benney to make the save. Nichols had a chance himself when Robbie McKenzie found him with a low ball but the the shot was wide of the mark.
Another impressive move led to Gillingham’s fifth. Will Wright – on as a substitute and playing defensive midfield – played the ball forward for McKenzie, who then found Jonny Williams and his ball for Clarke was finished past the home keeper in the 84th minute.
Dartford: Beeney, Wynter (Rooney 64mins), Odaudu (Rabbetts 58mins), Block (Adebowale 68mins), Miller-Rodney (Whitefield 81mins), Altintop, Coulson (Herschel 81mins), Manor (Box 74mins), Bradbury, Barzey (Boulton 85mins), Nembhard. Subs not used: Wall, Wray.
Gillingham: Turner, Alexander (McKenzie 73mins), Clark, Ogie (Masterson 73mins), Ehmer, S Williams (Coleman 46mins), Dieng (Wright 83mins), Lapslie (J Williams 46mins), Jefferies (Sithole 73mins), Clarke (Chambers 85mins), Gbode (Nichols 73mins). Sub not used: Morris.
Referee: Isaac Searle