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Gillingham 0 Shrewsbury 0: Danny Lloyd hits the post for the Gills but it ends goalless at Priestfield

Gillingham had to settle for a point from a game they badly needed to win.

Neither the Gills or visitors Shrewsbury Town could muster the quality needed to break the deadlock as the game at Priestfield finished goalless.

Kyle Dempsey with an early effort on goal that was blocked Picture: KPI (54489669)
Kyle Dempsey with an early effort on goal that was blocked Picture: KPI (54489669)

Steve Lovell was taking charge for the third time in a caretaker capacity in a game seen as vitally important in Gillingham’s quest for survival. They started the night bottom League 1.

The Gills at least claimed a point and are off the foot of the table but the winless run now stretches to 16 games in all competitions.

Chairman Paul Scally commented that the “fightback starts tonight” in his programme notes. Lovell was without striker Vadaine Oliver as his partner was due to give birth and that meant a call up to the starting XI for John Akinde.

Gillingham - watched on by another low crowd of just over 3,000 - made a lively start to the match but Shrewsbury gradually got involved.

There was a lack of quality where it mattered from both teams, however, with just one on-target shot between them in the first 45. A free-kick from Shrewsbury’s Elliott Bennett was saved by keeper Pontus Dahlberg.

For the Gills they had a couple of shots blocked and a few more that went wide of the mark. Some of the build-up had been encouraging with Dan Phillips - back from suspension - looking to get involved and Charlie Kelman showing some good early touches.

Dan Phillips back from suspension for Gillingham Picture: KPI (54489666)
Dan Phillips back from suspension for Gillingham Picture: KPI (54489666)

The game continued to lack a spark but a big chance fell to Akinde on the edge of the box from Kyle Dempsey’s lay-off but he fired over. He was substituted soon after as Lovell rotated, bringing on Norwich loan striker Tom Dickson-Peters.

Phillips put a shot just wide as the home crowd did their best to try and lift the team. There was a bit more urgency to the Gills’ play and they were seeing more of the ball but visiting keeper Marko Marosi remained untroubled with time running out.

It took 79 minutes for the Gills to have a shot on target, with Kelman cutting inside and firing at goal, but it was a good height for Marosi to claim.

Substitute Danny Lloyd nearly made an instant impact off the bench with a 30-yard free-kick that struck a post. Moments later Marosi had to tip Olly Lee’s dipping effort over the bar.

Kelman put another chance wide with a couple of minutes left as the Gills failed to make the better of the play count.

Gillingham: Dahlberg, Jackson, Ehmer, Tucker, McKenzie, O’Keefe, Dempsey, Lee, Phillips (Lloyd 81mins), Akinde (Dickson-Peters 58mins), Kelman. Subs not used: Chapman, Bennett, Tutonda, Sithole, Lintott.

Shrewsbury: Marosi, Bennett, Pennington, Ebanks-Landell, Nurse (Fornah 75mins), Ogbeta (Pierre 60mins), Leahy, Vela, Davis, Udoh, Bowman (Janneh 75mins). Subs not used: Burgoyne, Bloxham, Pyke, Daniels.

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Attendance: 3,213 (140 away)

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