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Doncaster Rovers 1 Gillingham 2 - match report

Luke Norris Picture: Barry Goodwin
Luke Norris Picture: Barry Goodwin

A Luke Norris double bagged Gillingham their first league away win of the season on Saturday.

Gillingham survived a tough opening half and went ahead early in the second through Luke Norris.

The Gills striker bagged his second with a stunning strike from distance but the visitors had to hang on at the end after conceding a stoppage-time penalty.

Gills boss Peter Taylor made just one change to his starting XI and that was enforced.

Adam Chicksen’s recall by Championship side Brighton meant Joe Martin returned to left back.

New signing Danny Galbraith was included on the substitutes’ bench.

Taylor had his keeper Stuart Nelson to thank for keeping the Gills in the game during a poor first half.

Gills’ best first half chance fell to Luke Norris, after Doug Loft did well to win possession, but he couldn’t find the target, instead blasting wide.

Prior to that, his strike-partner Brennan Dickenson had fired over, after Bradley Dack had picked him out.

The best opening half chances fell to the hosts and Nelson’s first save, from Paul Keegan, came in the opening minutes.

James Coppinger and Kyle Bennett had shots saved midway through the half and Richie Wellens was also denied as he drove in a fierce effort following a corner.

A rare chance for Gills saw Joe Martin hit a long-range shot over the bar and just before the break Doncaster’s Theo Robinson flicked an effort narrowly wide.

Taylor switched formation at the break, reverting to 4-5-1, with Hessenthaler moving to central midfield in a bid to plug the holes.

The Gills made Doncaster pay for their missed first half chances when Norris struck on 51 minutes.

A run from Michael Doughty had the Doncaster defence back-peddling. His shot was heading out of play but Norris arrived at the far post to slide the ball home.

Doncaster came close to levelling on the hour when Harry Forrester picked out Coppinger with a great throughball but the forward’s deft touch went inches wide.

Andy Butler also glanced a header wide and Kyle Bennett’s low shot was claimed by Nelson at the second attempt.

Gills doubled their lead with 77 minutes gone when the defence again sat off and Norris picked his spot from 25 yards.

With three minutes left Doncaster’s Reece Wabara saw his header hit the bar but the action didn't end there.

In the 93rd minute Robinson was tripped by Max Ehmer and Curtis Main buried the spot kick but it was too little too late for the hosts.

Gillingham: Nelson, Hessenthaler, Martin, Egan, Ehmer, Legge, Loft, Doughty, Dack (Galbraith 80mins), Dickenson, Norris. Subs not used: McDonald, McGlashan, Pritchard, Lennon, Bywater, Hoyte.

Doncaster: Johnstone, Stevens, Butler, McCullough, Wabara, Wellens, Keegan (Forrester 57mins), Bennett, Coppinger, Robinson, Main. Subs not used: Marosi, Evina, Wakefield, De Val, Whitehouse, J.McKay 

Attendance: 5,542 (312 Gills)

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