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Gillingham 1 Bradford City 0 - match report

John Marquis is congratulated by team-mates after his 72nd-minute winner against Bradford Picture: Barry Goodwin
John Marquis is congratulated by team-mates after his 72nd-minute winner against Bradford Picture: Barry Goodwin

Gillingham ended their poor run of results at home with a one-goal victory over Bradford City.

Substitute John Marquis was the hero, putting the Gills ahead with just under 20 minutes left.

The Gills took a long while to assert their authority on home turf, often relying on keeper Glenn Morris to save them, but bossed things once Marquis was introduced from the bench. His arrival helped turn the tide.

Gills were unchanged from the team which started the Easter Monday game at Leyton Orient.

The Gills were aiming for a first win in five at Priestfield, after two draws and two defeats in their previous four.

It was the visitors who had the better of the first half chances on Saturday. The Bantams were desperate for a win to remain in the hunt for a play-off place.

Bradford – victors of Chelsea earlier this season in the FA Cup - had seven corners in the half and from two of those came their best chances.

A great one-handed save from Morris denied Billy Clarke after just six minutes and Doug Loft managed to clear a header from John Stead off the line.

Just before the break keeper Morris came to the rescue again. In a crowded area Cody McDonald managed to block a header from James Hanson before Morris blocked Stead’s follow-up.

Gillingham had failed to trouble Bradford keeper Ben Williams in the opening half. Luke Norris and Leon Legge put headers wide, while Jake Hessenthaler had a shot deflected wide.

An early corner in the second half also gave the Gills as scare, as defender Rory McArdle headed over. Hanson’s effort moments later also went wide of the mark.

Gillingham’s first on-target effort came on 52 minutes when Norris tried his luck, shooting low into the goalkeeper’s arms.

Morris remained the busier of the goalkeepers, holding onto a Billy Knott free-kick.

Gills boss Justin Edinburgh attempted to get the Gills firing by introducing loan striker John Marquis with half an hour left.

Marquis had a hand in creating a great chance for the Gills on 67 minutes, releasing McGlashan down the right flank. His cross found McDonald but the striker’s route to goal was blocked by defender Stephen Darby.

A save from Williams denied Marquis but moments later the substitute opened the scoring, curling the ball home from the edge of the box. It was Marquis’ eighth goal in 17 appearances for the Gills.

Marquis was at the centre of everything, as the Gills looked for second. He picked out fellow sub Brennan Dickenson but his shot was saved. Marquis followed up with another curling effort, this time one which was cleared by Darby.

Gillingham: G Morris, Egan, Bell (Dickenson 71mins), Ehmer, Legge, Loft, Hessenthaler (Marquis 63mins), McGlashan, Dack, Norris (A Morris 63mins), McDonald. Subs not used: Nelson, Muldoon, Pritchard, Hoyte. 

Bradford: Willams, Darby, Meredith, Liddle (Yeates 79mins), Mcardle, Knott, Morais (Zoko 79mins), MacKenzie (Webb-Foster 90mins), Clarke, Stead, Hanson. Subs not used: Dolan, Urwin, Halliday, McMahon.

Attendance: 5,221 (312 away)

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