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Gillingham 2 Rochdale 0 – match report

Gillingham bounced back with a win on Tuesday night.

Bradley Dack put the Gills ahead early on at Priestfield and Deji Oshilaja netted late to seal the points.

Scoring chances were in short supply for the hosts throughout, but they showed a ruthless side in front of goal.

Gillingham players celebrate Bradley Dack's opener Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham players celebrate Bradley Dack's opener Picture: Barry Goodwin

The Gills went into the match unbeaten in all nine of their previous league games at Priestfield this season and the good form continued on home turf.

Smarting from Saturday's 4-1 top-of-the-table loss at Coventry, Justin Edinburgh’s team were eager to get back on track. Victory kept them second in League 1.

Gillingham made a great start, taking the lead after just seven minutes, as Dack netted his 10th goal of the season.

It was a great team goal from the Gills, all stemming from a challenge at right-back by Ryan Jackson. He won the ball with a shoulder barge on his opponent and sent Emmanuel Osadebe scampering down the right. Osadebe picked out Dominic Sameuel, whose first-time pass found Dack to finish.

Rory Donnelly challenges for the ball Picture: Barry Goodwin
Rory Donnelly challenges for the ball Picture: Barry Goodwin

It was to be Gillingham’s only real chance of the half, as neither team found it easy to break through.

Gills keeper Stuart Nelson was finally tested with 35 minutes gone and he saved well from Andy Cannon’s close-range effort, after being picked out by Ian Henderson.

Nelson also needed to be alert to palm away Donal McDermott’s dangerous free-kick which was whipped in.

Late in the half a John Egan cross just eluded the waiting Deji Oshilaja and Dack’s cross-shot was saved by keeper Joel Castro Pereira.

McDermott put an early second-half chance wide for Rochdale and Tom Kennedy also miscued, while Rory Donnelly put a weak effort into the keeper’s arms for the home side.

Nelson was forced into making a save from Calvin Andrew and Michael Rose put a free-kick wide as the visitors saw plenty of the ball in the second half.

And with 15 minutes left substitute James Hooper was denied by Nelson, who made a smart one-handed save low down.

Moments later, with a rare Gills shot, Dack’s thumping effort was saved by Pereira and Samuel put the follow-up wide.

Gillingham finally eased any worries nine minutes from time. Bradley Garmston’s corner was headed goalwards by Egan, keeper Pereira was blocked out and Oshilaja netted from close-range.

Gillingham: Nelson, Jackson, Garmston, Egan, Oshilaja, A Morris (Loft 70mins), Osadebe (Dickenson 63mins), Hessenthaler, Dack, Samuel, Donnelly. Subs not used: G Morris, Ehmer, Houghton, McDonald, McGlashan.

Rochdale: Pereira, Rafferty (Mendez-Laing 46mins), Bennett, McNulty, Lancashire, Andrew, McDermott (Hooper 54mins), Cannon, Camps, Kennedy (Rose 65mins), Henderson. Subs not used: Lillis, Eastham, Vincenti, Bunney.

Attendance: 5,088 (69 away).

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