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Gillingham 2 Swindon Town 2 - match report

Danny Kedwell asks questions of the Swindon defence Picture: Barry Goodwin
Danny Kedwell asks questions of the Swindon defence Picture: Barry Goodwin

Gillingham were denied a win over old rivals Swindon after conceding a last-minute own goal.

The Gills took an early lead through Danny Kedwell but Swindon bossed the first half and deserved their equaliser from Andy Williams.

Wolves loanee Kortney Hause put the Gills back infront but an own goal from Gills keeper Stephen Bywater in the final minute levelled it up again.

There were several surprise exclusions from the Gills team, with no Doug Loft or Aaron Morris included. Both were out with injuries.

There were five changes to the Gills’ starting XI in total with new signing Gavin Hoyte among those appearing.

Swindon showed what a threat they could be from crosses into the box in the opening moments, as giant central defender Raphael Branco headed a Massimo Luongo cross narrowly over.

Gillingham took an early lead, in the ninth minute, when Danny Kedwell closed down a clearance from visiting keeper Wes Foderingham. He slotted the loose ball home from a difficult angle for his third goal of the season.

Despite taking the lead, Swindon continued to dictate and former Tottenham midfielder Luongo was a constant menace, picking out passes through the home defence on several occasions.

Gills keeper Stephen Bywater had to be in top form to save from Nathan Byrne and Ben Gladwin twice.

It was from a rare Gills attack that Swindon finally scored. Matt Fish lost the ball in the Swindon area, while on the attack and the visitors hit back with pace. Williams made use of the extra space, cut inside and fired past Bywater.

The Gills made a double sub at the break to try and relieve some of the pressure on their back line, with Jermaine McGlashan and Brennan Dickenson joining the action.

Peter Taylor’s side went with a 4-2-3-1 formation and within six minutes had retaken the lead. Bradley Dack picked out Hause, in an advanced position, and he rifled the ball home into the top corner from 20 yards.

Swindon had less chances in the second half, but Bywater was forced into getting down to save Yaser Kasim’s long drive with 15 minutes left.

The Gills almost got a third with nine minutes left when Hessenthaler’s cross was flicked onto the bar by Dickenson. Legge followed up with a header that was caught by Foderingham.

Swindon were getting desperate at the end, with Yaser Kasim receiving a booking for a dive in the box.

But the visitors found an equaliser in the final minute when Branco’s hopeful cross was turned into his own net by Bywater. Tempers were heated after the goal, leading to Gills boss Taylor getting sent to the stand.

Gillingham: Bywater, Fish (McGlashan 46mins), Hoyte, Egan, Hause, Legge, Davies, Dack, Hessenthaler, Kedwell, Norris (Dickenson 46mins). Subs: G Morris, McKain, German, Millbank, Pritchard.

Swindon: Foderingham, N Thompson, Branco, Turnbull, Byrne, Kasim, Luongo (Lelan 83mins), Gladwin (Barker 76mins), B Smith, Williams, M Smith. Subs: Belford, Barthram, Marshall, T Smith, Waldon.

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