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Gillingham 2 Morecambe 1: Mustapha Carayol opens the scoring; Cole Stockton levels but Vadaine Oliver scores a winning penalty

Vadaine Oliver converted from the penalty spot to secure Gillingham’s first league win of the season.

Mustapha Carayol’s superb 30-yard strike had given the Gills an early advantage in Saturday’s League 1 fixture but Cole Stockton pulled the visitors level. Oliver’s first of the season on 79 minutes clinched three points for Steve Evans’ men.

Vadaine Oliver scored the winner for Gillingham Picture: Andy Jones
Vadaine Oliver scored the winner for Gillingham Picture: Andy Jones

Without a natural left-back, the Gills chose Robbie McKenzie to fill in for the suspended David Tutonda. Mustapha Carayol was one of three changes to the starting eleven and he had a lively opening.

Carayol stabbed the game’s first chance wide after just two minutes when Ryan Jackson picked him out at the near post.

It was Carayol who opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a thumping free-kick from distance after Ben Reeves had played the ball into his path.

Morecambe responded and Arthur Gnahoua put a long-range shot into the clutches of Gills keeper Jamie Cumming before Sam Levelle glanced a header narrowly wide from a corner.

The visitors equalised in the 25th minute, a fine strike from Stockton levelling the scores. The Morecambe striker had avoided losing possession to Max Ehmer and with Jack Tucker looking to keep him at arm’s reach, the shot from the edge of the box was fired in low across Cumming and into the bottom corner.

Mustapha Carayol puts the Gills infront Picture: Andy Jones
Mustapha Carayol puts the Gills infront Picture: Andy Jones

Neither side managed to create a decent opening for the rest of the half, the Gills unable to replicate their good early showing.

Morecambe had a few half chances after the turnaround with Lavelle putting a chance into the side-netting, while both Wes McDonald and Stockton put efforts wide before the hour mark.

Kyle Dempsey had a header blocked for the Gills as the Rainham End got behind their men. The Gills skipper also had a free-kick headed clear as he looked to bend it into the top corner from out wide.

Substitute Danny Lloyd forced visiting keeper Jokull Andresson into making a diving save with 20 minutes left while Carayol’s attempt at an overhead kick fell wide of the mark.

Gillingham got back infront from the penalty spot through Oliver, after Lloyd had been fouled inside the area, and it proved to be the winner.

Gillingham: Cumming, Jackson, McKenzie, Ehmer, Tucker, O’Keefe, Dempsey, Adshead (Lloyd 51mins), Reeves (Lee 63mins), Carayol, Oliver. Subs not used: Chapman, Akehurst, Lintott, Bennett.

Morecambe: Andresson, Leigh, Cooney, Lavelle, Jones (McLoughlin 69mins), O’Connor, Phillips (Duffus 81mins), Gnahoua, Diagouraga, McPake (McDonald 46mins), Stockton. Subs not used: Roche, Delaney, McCalmont, Wootton.

Referee: Tom Nield

Attendance: 3789 (111 away)

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