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Gillingham 4 Crewe Alexandra 1: Jordan Graham, Olly Lee (2) and Kyle Dempsey on target in win at Priestfield

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Gillingham’s hard-working performance was too much for visitors Crewe Alexandra who crumbled at Priestfield.

Jordan Graham put the Gills infront from the penalty spot before Olly Lee and Kyle Dempsey extended the lead inside the opening 45 minutes. Lee nodded in a fourth after the break against a side who were 10 unbeaten before their visit to Kent. Chris Porter’s late goal for Crewe was nothing more than a consolation.

Olly Lee was on target for the Gills against Crewe
Olly Lee was on target for the Gills against Crewe

Gillingham named new defensive signing Robbie Cundry in the starting line-up to face Crewe, the only change from a 2-2 weekend draw with Rochdale.

The Gills defence were under pressure early on when Oliver Finney got into a great position with just 15 seconds on the clock. His shot cannoned off Jack Tucker and after dealing with the corner the home side soon took charge.

Crewe were uncharacteristically sloppy in possession; putting balls out of play, misplacing passes and unable to cope with the high work-rate from the home side.

The visitors had recently sold their captain Perry Ng to Cardiff City and in his place was inexperienced right-back Travis Johnson. Crewe fans had voiced their concerns pre-match about the inclusion of two 20 year-old filling the full-back roles. Johnson and left-back Rio Adebisi had just eight league starts between them.

Johnson’s blatant trip on Graham gave the winger the opportunity from the penalty spot and he took it, firing the Gills ahead after 10 minutes.

More chances came and went, with a Dempsey header well saved by keeper Dave Richards before he made a more routine stop to deny Vadaine Oliver.

The Gills had a second goal in the 38th minute as a poor clearance from Omar Beckles was picked up by Dempsey, who in turn found Graham and his cross picked out Lee, who did well to compose himself with his shirt being pulled before finishing well.

Jordan Graham opened the scoring from the penalty spot
Jordan Graham opened the scoring from the penalty spot

Gillingham had a third goal shortly before half time as more sloppy Crewe play led to an opening. Dempsey ran through on goal, nicking the ball off the foot of Tom Lowery before finding the bottom corner.

Owen Dale blasted a great chance over as Crewe looked for an early second half breakthrough but it was the Gills who found the net again, with just over an hour on the clock.

Lee’s second of the night came from a Ryan Jackson throw, hurled into the box and flicked on by Connor Ogilvie, allowing the Gills man to nod it past Richards.

Vadaine Oliver had the ball in the net with 20 minutes left but the linesman’s flag was up for offside.

Crewe pulled a goal back in the 79th minute, a strong run forward from Anthony Evans, working his way into the box and Chris Porter at the near post bundled it home.

Only a good save from Bonham prevented Finney from getting another back moments later. Evans also missed a good chance for Crewe with a few minutes left and Finney fired wide but it was too little too late by then.

Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Tucker, Cundy, Ogilvie, Slattery, O’Connor, Dempsey, Lee (O'Keefe 90mins), Graham (MacDonald 90mins), Oliver (Akinde 89mins). Subs not used: McKenzie, Johnson, Willock, O’Keefe.

Crewe: Richards, Wintle (Evans 74mins), Lowery (Murphy 63mins), Porter, Kirk (Griffiths 79mins), Finney, Lancashire, Dale (Walker 63mins), Adebisi, Johnson, Beckles. Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Mandron, Sass-Davies.

Referee: Alan Young

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