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Gillingham 0 Crewe 0: League 2 match report from Priestfield Stadium

Home draw specialists Gillingham had to make do with another one-point outing at Priestfield on Friday.

Play-off chasing Gills were unable to make the most of a bright start to the game at Priestfield and although being the more positive of the two sides, they ended the match with another frustrating draw - their seventh from their last nine at home.

Jonny Williams in action for Gillingham against Crewe Picture: @Julian_KPI
Jonny Williams in action for Gillingham against Crewe Picture: @Julian_KPI

Gills’ head coach Stephen Clemence made two changes to his starting eleven from the side that won 3-2 at Morecambe.

Sloppy mistakes at the back cost them a couple of goals and Conor Masterson replaced Shad Ogie at the back while Robbie McKenzie dropped out for Ethan Coleman.

This was a huge game for the Gills in their pursuit of a play-off place, facing a side starting the day fifth in the table with promotion aspirations of their own.

Connor Mahoney provided the Gills with plenty of early impetus with some positive runs and inviting crosses into the box. Tim Dieng got on one of his balls in but his header was tipped over by goalkeeper Tom Booth.

Another of Mahoney’s crosses could have led to a penalty as Josh Austerfield appeared to handle the ball inside the box but referee Tom Reeves waved play on.

Gillingham’s good early start failed to lead to a goal and Crewe started to work their way into the game through the running of Shilow Tracey. The forward got past Mahoney in the Gills box and picked out Lewis Leigh but he couldn’t get a shot away at goal.

Crewe did seem to be struggling more with the windy conditions at Priestfield as several good opportunities to break forward ended with them conceding possession.

Referee Reeves spotted a handball from Gillingham’s George Lapslie as he looked to pick up on a loose ball after a mistake from Mickey Demetriou and the midfielder was unlucky not to convert later in the half after Masterson nodded a deep free-kick into the mix, his shot cleared off the line.

The half ended without a goal and the Gills keeper hadn’t been tested.

Aaron Rowe blasted an early effort wide for the visitors at the start of the second half and judging by the lack of urgency from the Crewe players, they were certainly the happier of the two sides as the contest stayed level.

Morris hadn’t had a great deal to do but was alert to save from Elliott Nevitt as the Crewe striker attempted to turn Rio Adebisi’s cross in at the near post.

Crewe were getting most of the 50-50 decisions from the officials, much to the frustration of the home crowd.

With just over an hour gone Clemence switched Oli Hawkins for Josh Andrews - one big striker for another - as the Gills looked for a way past a stubborn Crewe.

There were cheers when Mr Reeves penalised Zac Williams for a shove on Andrews and it was the Gills striker who got on the end of Remeao Hutton’s free-kick, forcing a save from Booth.

Josh Walker and Jayden Clarke were both introduced from the bench but the Gills couldn’t find the goal they needed.

Masterson had a shot deflected narrowly wide for the Gills late on, Walker went close and Coleman had a shot blocked as the game ended goalless.

League 2 table

Gillingham: Morris, Hutton, Clark (Malone 67mins), Masterson, Ehmer, Coleman, Dieng, Lapslie (Clarke 87mins), J Williams (Walker 79mins), Mahoney, Hawkins (Andrews 67mins). Subs not used: Turner, McKenzie, Ogie.

Crewe: Booth, Cooney, Adebisi, Demetriou, Thomas (Holicek 67mins), Tracey (Billington 83mins), Turns, Leigh (Long 83mins), Nevitt, Rowe (Williams 67mins), Austerfield. Subs not used: Davies, Finney, Kirk.

Referee: Tom Reeves

Attendance: 7,112 (289 away)

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