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Gillingham 2 Coventry City 1 – League 1 match report


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Gillingham came from behind to beat bottom side Coventry at Priestfield.

Coventry took the lead with a goal from Kyel Reid but Max Ehmer’s header levelled it before the break.

Billy Knott capped an impressive performance by firing home the winner in the second half.

Billy Knott celebrates his winner against Coventry Picture: Andy Jones
Billy Knott celebrates his winner against Coventry Picture: Andy Jones

Gillingham were in need of a win after taking just one point from their last three games in League 1 and they got it, despite making it hard for themselves.

Coventry arrived in Kent at the foot of the table without a win from their opening eight games. That was extended to nine.

Gills boss Justin Edinburgh made several changes to his team that started the League Cup game against Spurs.

Stuart Nelson was back in goal, replacing injured Jonathan Bond, while up front Rory Donnelly returned for only his third start of the season. Changes in midfield saw Scott Wagstaff and Knott both handed starting roles.

The Gills were back playing their 4-4-2 formation against a Coventry side who looked a threat with a three-man attack.

Nelson had to be alert early on to save from Marvin Sordell and injured himself in the process. Thankfully he was okay to continue and he was needed to get down low to save another effort from Sordell.

Gillingham’s busy left-sided midfielder Knott started the game brightly, with a shot in the opening seconds, but keeper Reice Charles-Cook was equal to it.

Coventry went ahead with a great finish from Reid, beating Nelson with a low shot into the bottom corner, but the lead only lasted five minutes.

A Ryan Jackson throw was met by Ehmer and his glancing header beat the City keeper.

Gillingham had been good in spells during the first half but Edinburgh made a change at the break with Mark Byrne taking over from skipper Josh Wright.

With the hosts still struggling to dictate after the turnaround, Edinburgh switched things again just before the hour, with Wagstaff dropping to right-back with Jackson being replaced by Emmanuel Osadebe.

A chance for Cody McDonald came and went, with the striker shooting wide from an angle.

With 20 minutes left Edinburgh made his last substitution, hoping Jay Emmanuel-Thomas would have an impact up front in place of Donnelly.

Gillingham finally got a chance when McDonald picked out Knott unmarked, racing in on goal, and the midfielder calmly picked his spot and side-footed home with 72 minutes gone.

Nelson palmed a Reid effort over the bar with 10 minutes left and in the closing stages Ben Stevenson went close for the visitors, dragging a shot just wide.

The Gills keeper pulled off a super stop in injury-time, diving to his right and turning Sordell’s shot wide, to ensure his side took all three points.

Gillingham: Nelson, Jackson (Osadebe 56mins), Konchesky, Ehmer, Oshilaja, Wright (Byrne 46mins), Wagstaff, Knott, Dack, Donnelly (Emmanuel-Thomas 69mins) McDonald. Subs not used: Hadler, Pask, Oldaker, List.

Coventry: Charles-Cook, Willis, Turnbull, Ricketts, Page, Di. Kelly-Evans (Jones 46mins), Gadzhev (Agyei 74mins), Bigirimana, Wright (Stevenson 72mins), Reid, Sordell. Subs not used: Addai, Harries, Lameiras, Tudgay.

Attendance: 7,664 (380 away)

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