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Gillingham 2 Northampton 2: Vadaine Oliver and Olly Lee score for the Gills but Ryan Edmondson and Fraser Horsfall reply


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Gillingham conceded twice in a five-minute spell to see their lead wiped out against relegation troubled Northampton.

Striker Vadaine Oliver scored against his old team and Olly Lee added a second goal after the break but Town got one back through Ryan Edmondson and levelled the score with a Fraser Horsfall header.

Vadaine Oliver puts Gillingham ahead in the 11th minute Picture: Andy Jones
Vadaine Oliver puts Gillingham ahead in the 11th minute Picture: Andy Jones

A sickness bug meant a change for the Gills upfront as John Akinde dropped out and was replaced by former Northampton man Oliver.

The Gills dominated the early stages and took an 11th minute lead when Robbie Cundy guided Lee’s corner towards the back post where Oliver was lurking and he poked the ball home for his 19th of the season.

Lee had come close himself when defender Lloyd Jones played a clearance straight into his path but the Town player recovered and managed to block the subsequent block.

It took a great save from keeper Jonathan Mitchell to keep it at 1-0, denying Dominic Samuel - starting his first match since mid-December - after the Gills striker had robbed the ball off Jones inside the box.

Home skipper Kyle Dempsey tried his luck from outside the box but Mitchell was equal to it.

A physical Northampton side gradually worked their way into the game and had their own chances but the best was put on a plate. Jack Tucker’s weak back pass was picked up by Alex Jones and with just Jack Bonham to beat he guided the shot over the bar.

Action between Gillingham and Northampton at Priestfield Picture: Andy Jones
Action between Gillingham and Northampton at Priestfield Picture: Andy Jones

The Gills keeper was also called upon to save from Mickel Miller and watched as Sam Hoskins drilled a low shot just wide, to serve as a couple of warning to the home side.

Alex Jones, who missed the golden chance in the first half for Northampton, was replaced by one of Evans’ former players Danny Rose at the break.

Cundy headed a chance over for the Gills in the second half and Ogilvie also went close from a right-sided Ryan Jackson cross, the right-back seeing plenty of the ball in the game and getting forward well.

A vital touch from Bonham denied Edmondson as his header from Sam Hoskins’ cross looked destined for the top corner. Moments later the Gills keeper dropped a cross and had to make a hasty recovery before a Northampton forward pounced.

Northampton were knocking on the door as Bryn Morris also went close, his shot deflected wide by Connor Ogilvie.

Gillingham needed a second goal and it arrived in the 68th minute when Lee’s angled drive across the keeper found the bottom corner.

Northampton remained dangerous and Cundy had to block a goalbound shot from Mark Marshall on the line.

Town got back in it with a 79th minute striker, a cross from the right controlled by Caleb Chukwuemka and fellow sub Edmondson poked the ball home.

Samuel came close to putting the Gills back infront, bending a shot against the upright.

Dominic Samuel made his first start since mid-December for the Gills Picture: Andy Jones
Dominic Samuel made his first start since mid-December for the Gills Picture: Andy Jones

Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson (McKenzie 89mins), Ogilvie, Tucker, Cundy, O’Keefe, Dempsey, MacDonald, Lee (Graham 88mins), Oliver, Samuel (Sithole 88mins). Subs not used: Bastien, Johnson, O’Connor, Woods.

Northampton: Mitchell, Kioso, L Jones, Horsfall, Mills, Morris, McWilliams (Edmondson 57mins), Watson (Chukwuemeka 76mins), Hoskins, A Jones (Rose 46mins), Miller (Marshall 57mins). Subs not used: Woods, Harriman, Bolger.

Referee: Carl Brook

Reaction: "One or two continually making mistakes" - Evans

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