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Harrogate Town 0 Gillingham 0: League 2 report and match highlights from the EnviroVent Stadium

Gillingham found it tough going against lowly Harrogate Town but came away with a point from the League 2 clash.

It was a first ever visit to Harrogate’s Wetherby Road ground for the Gills - backed by over 600 away fans - and the match ended goalless between two sides in need of points to pull clear of trouble.

Gills were looking to bounce back from a midweek defeat against Bradford and manager Neil Harris went with positive-looking team, with Tom Nichols returning upfront to support big striker Oli Hawkins.

There was no place in the squad for new signing Lewis Page while midfielder Dom Jefferies wasn’t involved. A big miss against Bradford was midfielder Tim Dieng and he came straight back in following a six-day concussion lay-off.

This was a big one for both teams in their fight to avoid the drop. With no wins in six, Harrogate were sinking towards trouble, just below the Gills and just above the drop-zone.

The Gills made a bright start and Aiden O’Brien had a chance inside the opening minute, chipping a defender with a great first touch but then volleying over with his second off a Cheye Alexander cross.

Gillingham’s best early moments were going through O’Brien, playing on the left and linking up well with David Tutonda. His second attempt at goal lacked the power to beat the home keeper but moments later he put Tutonda in down the side and goalie Mark Oxley was unable to collect. The ball was hacked clear by Tom Eastman.

Harrogate started to get themselves into the game after that first 10 minute spell and by half-time were unlucky not to have been infront.

Alexander was in the right place to block a header from Jack Muldoon after Morris was unable to claim a cross, the Town player had the time to take the ball down but was too hasty.

Kazeem Olaigbe fired narrowly wide after driving past Dieng and the same Gills player was unable to stop Levi Sutton from getting a shot away at goal that Morris had to deal with. Just before the half the Gills keeper also had to be alert to deny Luke Armstrong.

Morris was there to deny Muldoon early in the second half while O’Brien fired wide for the Gills.

Muldoon had another shot at goal that Morris saved but he couldn’t hold on and had to claw the ball away from Luke Armstrong as he looked to tuck the loose ball home. At the other end O’Brien continued to be a threat and an off-target effort was nearly deflected into his own net by a Town defender.

Morris had to save again, this time to deny Danny Grant with 20 minutes gone.

Tutonda almost produced a moment of magic with a dipping volley from 20 yards out that keeper Max Oxley had to tip over the bar while on his heels.

Morris needed to make another save as Olaigbe looked to squeeze in a shot from a tight angle off a corner.

Substitute Alex MacDonald looked well placed to put the Gills ahead when the ball dropped to him inside the area, with time to think, but Eastman slid in to make the block.

Gillingham goalkeeper Morris had been busy throughout the afternoon and his save with three minutes left was crucial, denying Armstrong after the Town forward was put in the clear by Olaigbe after his surging run forward.

Home man-of-the-match Olaigbe threatened to burst through again in the final minute before Dieng hacked him down, picking up a booking for the challenge.

Harrogate: Oxley, Foulds, Sims, O’Connor, Eastman, Falkingham, Grant (Pattison 76mins), Olaigbe, Sutton (Thomson 87mins), Muldoon (Daly 90mins), Armstrong. Subs not used: Giles, Mattock, Burrell, Folarin.

Gillingham: Morris, Alexander, Tutonda, Ehmer, Masterson, Williams (MacDonald 70mins), Dieng, Lapslie, O’Brien, Nichols, Hawkins. Subs not used: Turner, Wright, Coleman, O’Keefe, Abrahams.

Attendance: 2,610 (610 away)

Referee: Andy Haines

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