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Gillingham 1 Crawley Town 1 match report

Leon Legge scored for Gills Picture: Ady Kerry
Leon Legge scored for Gills Picture: Ady Kerry

Leon Legge scored the equaliser as Gills fought back from a goal down to draw with Crawley Town at Priestfield on Saturday.

He headed home late in the first half after Crawley took the lead through Gwoin Edwards.

Gills made one change to the team beaten by Preston on Tuesday night, with on-loan QPR midfielder Michael Doughty replacing Josh Pritchard.

Crawley shaded a quiet opening but it was Gills who went close with John Egan’s header from Jake Hessenthaler’s corner saved by Jamie Ashdown.

Doughty featured in most of Gills’ best work in the first half and it was his pass that saw Egan feed Jermaine McGlashan for a cross, with Brennan Dickenson’s shot blocked.

Stuart Nelson was alert to keep out Gwoin Edwards’ deflected strike that came off Gills defender Gavin Hoyte.

But he was picking the ball out of his net on 29 minutes when he could only get a hand to Edwards’ strike after the dangerous Keith Keane split the defence.

Egan thumped an effort over from the edge of the box after Kedwell’s cross was knocked down by Legge.

But Crawley, enjoying a decent spell, went close to a second with Edwards and Keane combining to set up Matt Harrold, who hit the post.

Joe Walsh sent a header from a Conor Henderson corner over as the visitors threatened again.

But the mood at Priestfield changed a minute before half-time when Legge met Hessenthaler’s corner with a thumping header.

Legge went close again early in the second half with another header from a Hessenthaler corner.

Doughty continued to impress while the half-time introduction of Bradley Dack added energy to a Gills team who looked comfortably the better side after the break.

Dack was always positive and was almost rewarded on the hour with a cracking strike from 25 yards that skimmed the bar.

Crawley made little impression in attack but when they did, Egan threw himself in the way of Bobson Bawling’s strike, the Crawley substitute having found space.

It took a goalline block from Lanre Oyebanjo to deny Legge his second after Dack and Cody McDonald combined moving into the final 15 minutes.

Crawley substitute Jimmy Smith saw a deflected strike go just wide, while McDonald headed Legge's injury-time cross straight at Ashdown for Gills.

There was another late chance for McDonald, with Oyebanjo blocking after the Gills striker cut inside.

Gillingham: Nelson, Hoyte, Martin, Hessenthaler, Egan, Legge, Doughty, McGlashan (Dack 46mins), Doughty (Norris 78mins), Kedwell (Pritchard 73mins), McDonald, Dickenson. Subs not used: Fish, German, Hare, Bywater.

Attendance: 4,850 (210 from Crawley)

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