Published: 20:45, 27 July 2021
| Updated: 23:01, 27 July 2021
Fans were back at Priestfield on Tuesday night to watch Gillingham produce an encouraging performance against Championship side Millwall.
Kyle Dempsey’s low 20-yard drive put Gillingham ahead and it was thoroughly deserved. Millwall got back on level terms late in the game when Jake Cooper converted from a corner.
The Gills remained light in numbers with three trialists and a couple of youth players named among the subs. Connor Ogilive continued to feature while looking for a new club, playing 45 minutes.
On a bright evening, the Gills were finally back playing infront of fans at Priestfield, over 500 days since the last time the supporters were in attendance. They would have been encouraged with what they saw.
There must have been over 2,000 supporters in total - boosted by around 700 visitors backing Millwall - and Gillingham showed plenty of early intent with Danny Lloyd busy upfront while Olly Lee had half a chance snuffed out.
The deadlock was broken on 14 minutes when Dempsey showed his class with a super strike, taking a couple of touches before firing the ball home into the bottom corner, in off the post.
Gillingham’s new keeper Jamie Cumming managed to avoid making a save in the opening 45 minutes as Jack Tucker and Max Ehmer blocked a couple of shots. The closest Millwall came was from a Dan Ballard volley, sending his shot just wide from a deep corner.
Gillingham introduced first year pro Harvey Lintott and youth player Bailey Akehurst for the second half, replacing full-backs Ogilvie and Bennett. Stuart O’Keefe swapped places with Dempsey.
Scott Malone volleyed an effort wide for Millwall in the second half and blasted another chance wide before the whistle had gone for a foul.
Gillingham made a flurry of changes on the hour with Cumming being replaced in goal without a meaningful shot to save. The Gills played the final 30 minutes with a handful of trialists trying to impress. Late in the game 16-year-old Sam Gale - a first year youth player - came off the bench.
Millwall’s Connor Mahoney tried his luck from outside the box but keeper Aaron Chapman managed to get behind the the effort which looked to have taken a deflection.
Chapman made another block to deny Tom Bradshaw but from the subsequent corner Millwall levelled. Four minutes were left on the clock when Mahoney’s corner was headed back towards Jake Cooper and he scored from close range.
Gillingham: Cumming (Chapman 60mins), Bennett (Lintott 46mins), Ogilvie (Akehurst 46mins), Ehmer, Tucker, Dempsey (O’Keefe 46mins), Lee (MacDonald 60mins), Reeves (Trialist 60mins), Lloyd (Trialist 60mins), Phillips (Trialist 60mins), Oliver (Gale 78mins). Sub not used: Akinde.
Millwall: Bialkowski, McNamara (Romeo 69mins), Ballard, Pearce (Cooper 60mins), Wallace, Malone, Leonard (Mahoney 69mins), Evans (Saville 69mins), Thompson (Mitchell 60mins), Afobe (Smith 46mins), Bennett (Bradshaw 46mins).
Referee: Gavin Ward