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Fleetwood Town 1 Gillingham 0 - match report

Stephen Bywater called into action at Fleetwood on Saturday. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Stephen Bywater called into action at Fleetwood on Saturday. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Gillingham’s woes on the road continued at Fleetwood on Saturday.

The Gills fell behind after just three minutes when Fleetwood’s loan striker Tom Hitchcock struck.

Gills’ best chances came at the end of the first half but they were unable to convert.

Defeat extended Gills’ run without a win away from home in the league to eight games and keeps them in the bottom four of League 1.

Skipper Doug Loft was back in the starting line-up for the visitors following a three game ban.

Loft was one of four changes to the starting XI made by Gills boss Peter Taylor. Keeper Stephen Bywater was back between the posts, defender Kortney Hause returned from injury and Josh Pritchard was also included from the off.

The Gills made a terrible start to the game but improved as the half went on.

Hitchcock, on loan from MK Dons, lifted a shot over Bywater into the net early on. The goal came from a corner, conceded when the Gills keeper pushed out a shot by Josh Morris.

The same player, who signed for Fleetwood on Friday, scored three past Gillingham last season while at Rotherham.

Taylor’s men tried to get back into the match immediately. John Egan had a free-kick turned over by keeper Chris Maxwell and Cody McDonald was denied when put through by Loft.

Visiting skipper Loft was twice denied from distance by Maxwell while Josh Pritchard curled an effort narrowly wide.

The Gills reached the half ahead on the shot count but behind where it mattered.

McDonald had a close-range header saved early in the second half before Taylor began to make changes. McGlashan was first on, taking over as right wing-back, before Luke Norris and Bradley Dack joined the action for the final stages.

Fleetwood came close to a second when Bywater fumbled Morris’ header at goal but reacted well to pick up the loose ball. Moments earlier Nathan Pond had headed wide for the hosts.

With 10 minutes left Bywater had to make a flying save to deny Antonio Sarcevic as the hosts looked to extend their advantage.

Leon Legge blasted a shot wide for the visitors in injury time as the visitors failed to cancel out the early Fleetwood goal.

Fleetwood: Maxwell, McLaughlin, Pond, Evans, Dobbie (Sarcevic 74mins), Hughes, Morris (Andrew 90mins), Southern, Jordan, Hitchcock, Crainey. Subs not used: Roberts, Lucas, Blair, Forbes, Haughton.

Gillingham: Bywater, Hoyte (McGlashan 56mins), Martin, Egan, Legge, Hause, Loft (Dack 67mins), Pritchard, Doughty, Kedwell (Norris 67mins), McDonald. Subs not used: Nelson, Fish, Hessenthaler, Dickenson.

Attendance: 2,951 (252 Gills)

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