Published: 16:45, 12 September 2020
| Updated: 21:11, 12 September 2020
Gillingham were rocked by an early goal and never recovered against Hull City at Priestfield.
The season got off to a poor start for the Gills as Keane Lewis Potter fired the visitors infront after just three minutes. Josh Magennis headed in a second late on to seal the points.
Six players were making their league debuts for the Gills in a much-changed team that lined up to start the 2020/21 campaign. It was the club’s first league game since the 2-2 draw at Sunderland on March 7.
Half a year on and Steve Evans’ men were facing another club with recent top-flight history behind them. Hull dropped out of the Championship after a terrible run of results at the back end of last season, which came to a conclusion on July 22.
Hull City were making a first visit to play Gills at Priestfield in 35 years and they struck early on their return.
Gillingham found themselves a goal down after just three minutes. The home defence was opened up and Potter planted the ball past Jack Bonham after George Honeyman had pulled the ball back into his path.
John Akinde should have made more of a chance moments later, when he beat the offside trap to face the Hull keeper one on one, but Matt Ingram narrowed the gap and saved from the Gills striker.
Josh Magennis went close with a rasping volley for the visitors and Honeyman forced a save from Bonham before the chances petered out after a lively opening.
Jacob Mellis fired over for the Gills and Connor Ogilvie rose well to meet a cross but his header was blocked.
Gillingham got away with a mistake at the back when Zech Medley was robbed of possession by Greg Docherty. Hull had an advantage in numbers but couldn’t capitalise.
Bonham again showed good hands in first half stoppage-time to deny Docherty.
The Gills went into the break a goal down but were far from out of it. Hull hadn’t gone on to dominate after their early breakthrough.
There was a double sub at the break for the Gills with Scott Robertson and Vadaine Oliver introduced as Evans switched to two up top.
Oliver and O’Keefe went well wide with early second half efforts but Hull went close with a looping header from Magennis that needed clearing off the line by Medley.
Gillingham were struggling to create anything meaningful, approaching the final few minutes with only the one early chance on target to their name.
Hull had been growing in confidence and got a second when Magennis headed home Honeyman’s 83rd minute free-kick.
Only a good block from former Hull player Robbie McKenzie denied the visitors a third after Bonham was caught out a long way from goal. Mallik Wilks squared for Potter but he couldn't get past the Gills defender.
Gillingham (4-2-3-1): Bonham, McKenzie, Ogilvie, Medley, Maghoma, O'Keefe, Dempsey (Willock 65mins), Mellis (Oliver 46mins), Coyle (Robertson 46mins), Graham, Akinde. Subs not used: Walsh, Tucker, MacDonald, Woods.
Hull City (4-5-1): Ingram, de Wijs, Burke, Smallwood, Wilks, Honeyman (Batty 81mins), Emmanuel, Potter, Fleming, Magennis (Scott 81mins), Docherty (C Jones 87mins). Subs not used: Cartwright, Samuelsen, A Jones, McLoughlin.
Referee: Andy Woolmer