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Gillingham 1 Swindon Town 1 – League 1 match report

Rory Donnelly came off the bench to rescue a point for Gillingham on Tuesday night.

After a goalless first half Michael Doughty put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot but Donnelly levelled to ensure honours were shared.

Max Ehmer almost won it late on for Gillingham but smashed an effort against the bar.

Rory Donnelly climbs highest against Swindon. Picture: Ady Kerry
Rory Donnelly climbs highest against Swindon. Picture: Ady Kerry

Swindon finished with 10 men after Brendon Ottewill picked up two bookings in the space of three minutes during stoppage-time.

Gillingham’s only change from the team which started at the weekend was in central defence. Ehmer returned from concussion to replace Deji Oshilaja and partner young West Ham loanee Josh Pask.

Swindon named a team without a recognised striker. Among those missing out was former Gills frontman Luke Norris, injured for the Robins in their previous match.

The first half proved a frustrating one for the Gills as they found it difficult to find a way through and they were almost hit by a sucker-punch just a few moments before the interval.

James Brophy threaded a ball through to John Goddard but the finish was poor and although keeper Stuart Nelson was beaten, Ehmer was able to mop up the danger and clear.

Gillingham’s first half chances were less clear-cut. Cody McDonald had an overhead kick blocked, Emmanuel Osadebe shot well over but then saw a better effort tipped over the bar from keeper Lawrence Vigouroux.

Right at the death Mark Byrne’s inviting free-kick fell just out of reach for Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who was lurking at the far post.

Swindon made a lively start to the second half but the Gills came close with a chance from Emmanuel-Thomas, with an attempted lob, but the keeper saw it coming.

The hosts went ahead in the 55th minute from the spot. Darnell Furlong ran onto a through ball and was tripped by Paul Konchesky. Referee Keith Stroud pointed to the spot and former Gills loanee Doughty sent Nelson the wrong way.

Edinburgh responded immediately by sending recent signing Jamie O’Hara on and the midfielder was quickly involved in the action, sending over a cross that keeper Vigouroux had to tip over his bar.

Right-back Ryan Jackson – the goalscoring hero from the weekend – came close moments later with a shot that hit the side netting. O’Hara was the instigator of that attack as well, sending Osadebe free down the left to cross the ball.

Gillingham were level on 73 minutes when Donnelly side-footed home Jackson’s cross, just two minutes after replacing McDonald upfront.

Swindon almost got their noses back infront when they broke forward but Brophy dragged a shot wide as Bradley Barry was running in and looking for a cut-back. Moment later Nelson had to be alert to clear as Barry ran free of Konchesky onto a ball over the top.

Gillingham almost went ahead through Ehmer, who turned in the box and fired an effort against the bar.

Ottewill’s foul on 93 minutes came shortly after a booking for time wasting and Stroud issued him a second yellow, reducing the visitors to 10 men for the final four minutes.

Gillingham: Nelson, Jackson, Konchesky, Ehmer, Pask (Oshilaja 80mins), Wright, Byrne, Osadebe, Knott (O’Hara 56mins), McDonald (Donnelly 71mins), Emmanuel-Thomas. Subs not used: Hadler, Hessenthaler, Oldaker, List.

Swindon: Vigouroux, Thompson, Ottewill, Thomas, Rodgers, Sendles-White, Doughty, Goddard (Stewart 61mins), Brophy, Furlong, Barry (Iandolo 79mins). Subs not used: Henry, Smith, Evans, Hylton, Twine.

Attendance: 5,512 (190 away)

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