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Gillingham 2 Tranmere Rovers 0: Report from Priestfield as Shaun Williams and Conor Masterson score in League 2 match

Gillingham eased to another three points as they comfortably got the better of Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.

Captain Shaun Williams headed the Gills infront from a corner and then claimed an assist as Conor Masterson added a late second against a visiting team that did little to trouble them.

It was the seventh league win for the Gills since the start of the 2023 as relegation fears continue to diminish.

Gillingham were back at Priestfield after successive away games, drawing 0-0 at Harrogate and Stockport.

Manager Neil Harris reverted to a four-man defence following their midweek shutout against Stockport as Williams, Alex MacDonald, George Lapslie and Oli Hawkins all returned to the starting eleven.

The Gills were hoping to extend further the gap between themselves and the bottom two in League 2 and while many below them won, the Gills did too.

Shaun Williams heads home for the Gills against Tranmere
Shaun Williams heads home for the Gills against Tranmere

It was a game of few highlights in the opening stages and once the Gills took a 32nd minute lead they looked in firm control.

Williams was unopposed at the far post as he headed in MacDonald’s corner kick to end a run of three games without a goal for the Gills.

The goalscorer had miscued a volleyed attempted moments before the header and earlier in the half had also met a corner at the far post - denied that time by goalkeeper Joe Murphy.

Gillingham had certainly caused the visitors some problems from the set-pieces.

Cheye Alexander on the ball for Gillingham against Tranmere
Cheye Alexander on the ball for Gillingham against Tranmere

Tranmere had rarely threatened in the half, Gills keeper Glenn Morris easily dealing with a shot and a close-range header.

Gills striker Tom Nichols got on the end of a couple of balls into the box during the early stages of the second half, with keeper Murphy holding onto one headed effort and watching another go narrowly wide.

Tranmere continued to struggle against Gillingham corners and Timothee Dieng headed a great chance wide from another MacDonald flag-kick with just over an hour played. He was left banging the turf in frustration.

A last ditch tackle from Kyle Jameson denied Aiden O’Brien as he ran in on goal while David Tutonda’s challenge on Lee O’Connor denied the visitors as they threatened against the run of play.

Gillingham doubled their lead on 86 minutes when Masterson converted a low ball into the box. Williams did well to get the ball into the area and when O’Brien did a step-over, the centre-half was there to finish.

Tom Nichols in action for the Gills against Tranmere
Tom Nichols in action for the Gills against Tranmere

Gillingham: Morris, Alexander, Tutonda, Ehmer, Masterson, Williams, Dieng (Wright 90mins), Lapslie (Jefferies 68mins), MacDonald (Coleman 84mins), Nichols (O’Brien 68mins), Hawkins (Abrahams 90mins). Subs not used: Turner.

Tranmere: Murphy, Dacres-Cogley, Bristow, O’Connor, Merrie, Hawkes (Chalmers 78mins), Turnbull, Jameson, Hendry, Saunders, Burton. Subs not used: Hewelt, Mumbongo, Fisher, Turner- Cooke.

Referee: Andy Woolmer

Attendance: 5,674 (267 away)

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