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Doncaster Rovers 2 Gillingham 2 – match report

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham threw away a commanding lead for the second game running.

Rory Donnelly put Gillingham in front at Doncaster and doubled the advantage early in the second half.

Cameron Stewart halved the deficit with from a free-kick and Andy Williams equalised late on.

Rory Donnelly celebrates his second goal at Doncaster Picture: Barry Goodwin
Rory Donnelly celebrates his second goal at Doncaster Picture: Barry Goodwin

It was the second time in two games that the Gills had thrown away a two-goal advantage, losing 3-2 at Wigan in their last encounter.

Gills boss Justin Edinburgh named the same starting XI for the fourth game running.

Edinburgh was taking charge of his 50th Gills game and they started the afternoon second in the table, just a point off the top of League 1.

A pre-match powercut led to doubts the game would kick off on time, but play did manage to get under way at 3pm.

The Gills took a ninth-minute lead when Donnelly side-footed home on the volley from Ryan Jackson’s cross.

It was a third goal in three games for the Northern Ireland striker.

Doncaster had the lion’s share of the first-half possession, but their shooting was wayward.

Curtis Main – a late starter after Nathan Tyson pulled up just before kick-off – put a couple of efforts wide of the mark.

Gillingham came close to a second with a move started and ended by Bradley Dack.

With few options ahead of him, the midfielder checked back before spreading play out wide to Bradley Garmston. Dack then charged into the box, met the cross and only the crossbar denied him.

The half ended with Paul Keegan firing over, the story of the home side’s first 45 minutes.

Donnelly made it 10 for the season two minutes after the restart, slotting home after Dack had picked him out with a through-ball.

Dack came close to adding to the tally, turning on the edge of the box to create the chance, but his low shot on the hour was saved by Thorsten Stuckmann.

Donnelly was also denied by Stuckmann, as the keeper held onto his close-range header.

Doncaster were always a threat, more so after switching from five at the back to 4-4-2, and Andy Williams came a whisker away from converting a dangerous left-sided cross. Stewart also forced Stuart Nelson into a save.

The home side pulled a goal back with 15 minutes left as Stewart scored direct from a free-kick 20 yards out. He left the field shortly afterwards on a stretcher after landing on his neck following a challenge with Jemaine McGlashan.

Samuel came close with a shot from outside the box for Gills but the scores were levelled two minutes from time as Williams ran onto a ball through the defence and finished past Nelson.

Williams put a great chance over the bar in the eighth minute of stoppage-time but the Gills hung on to at least claim a point.

Doncaster: Stuckmann, Butler (Stewart 49mins), Evina, Alcock, McCullough, Taylor-Sinclair, Coppinger, Grant, Keegan, Williams, Main (Mandeville 49mins). Subs not used: Marosi, Chaplow, MacKenzie, Lund, Middleton.

Gillingham: Nelson, Jackson, Garmston, Egan, Ehmer, A Morris, Hessenthaler (Loft 90mins), Wright (McGlashan 73mins), Dack, Donnelly, Samuel. Subs not used: G Morris, Dickenson, Osadebe, List, Norris.

Attendance: 4,876

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