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Gillingham 0 Scunthorpe United 3 - match report

Doug Loft is dismissed by referee Peter Bankes Picture: Barry Goodwin
Doug Loft is dismissed by referee Peter Bankes Picture: Barry Goodwin

Gillingham’s unbeaten home run in the league came to an end on Saturday against Scunthorpe.

Home skipper Doug Loft was sent off for a first-half foul and his side fell behind to a Paddy Madden goal.

A dominant performance from the visitors after the break was rewarded with a deserved second goal, as Neal Bishop headed home. Gary McSheffrey made it 3-0 in stoppage-time.

Gills boss Peter Taylor opted to return Stephen Bywater between the sticks, in preference to Tuesday’s penalty hero Stuart Nelson.

Also returning to the starting XI from their midweek Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash was Cody McDonald, Loft and Luke Norris. Central defender John Egan also shook off a knock to play.

Visitors Scunthorpe had caretaker manager Andy Dawson in charge with their new man Mark Robins – who starts on Monday – sat in the stands.

The Gills could have been ahead in the opening minute, when Bradley Dack played in McDonald, but the striker fired into the side-netting.

Norris had a couple of half chances for the Gills but they were unable to get a stranglehold of the game against a Scunthorpe team who started the day second from bottom in League 1.

Gillingham’s hopes diminished when Doug Loft was shown a straight red following a late challenge on Luke O’Neill.

Boss Taylor decided against making an immediate change and with four minutes of the half left the team were opened up. Gary McSheffrey’s through-ball to Madden was perfectly weighted and the Scunthorpe man side-stepped Bywater before slotting home.

Taylor found himself in hot water before the break, as referee Bankes ordered him to watch the rest of the match from the stands. The Gills boss was ordered off after a bottle he threw to the floor ended up on the pitch.

Luke Norris and Cody McDonald remained upfront in the second half as the Gills persisted with a three-man midfield. Amine Linganzi replaced Josh Pritchard at the interval.

Scunthorpe remained in charge at the start of the second half. Striker Rory Fallon pulled one cross back into the area, that went unpunished, then came close to converting another while sliding in on goal.

Brennan Dickenson’s introduction with 25 minutes left, for injured Aaron Morris, saw the Gills go with three at the back. The Gills still, however, struggled to make an impact.

A second goal arrived on 72 minutes when O’Neill’s cross was converted at close-range by Bishop.

Bywater twice had to make saves from Madden as Scunthorpe threatened to add further to their tally.

Gills’ defence was pulled apart in injury time and McSheffrey rounded the keeper to add a third for the visitors.

Gillingham: Bywater, A Morris (Dickenson 65mins), Martin, Davies, Egan, Pritchard (Linganzi 46mins), Loft, Dack, McGlashan, Norris (German 74mins), McDonald. Subs not used: Nelson, Legge, Hessenthaler, Hoyte.

Scunthorpe: Olejnik, Mcallister, Bishop, O’Neill, Boyce, MCsheffrey, Brisley, Myrie-Williams (Adelakun 75mins), Madden, Fallon (Burton 87mins). Subs not used: Severn, Sparrow, Hawkridge, Kee, Llera.

Attendance: 7,042 (162 away)

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