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Lincoln City 0 Gillingham 2: Robbie McKenzie hits the woodwork at Sincil Bank before Vadaine Oliver and Ben Thompson score

Gillingham’s quest for survival in League 1 received a huge boost with victory over Lincoln on Saturday.

The Gills were unable to make the most of their early opportunities at Lincoln’s Sincil Bank and had to withstand second half pressure before OIiver headed home and Thompson struck a second goal in the 91st minute.

Vadaine Oliver put Gillingham infront at Lincoln Picture: KPI
Vadaine Oliver put Gillingham infront at Lincoln Picture: KPI

Neil Harris made a change in midfield as Dan Phillips got his first start under the new Gillingham manager. Ben Reeves made way.

It was a big match for both teams. The Gills were five points inside the League 1 bottom four pre-match while Lincoln were five points outside and looking anxiously over their shoulders.

While Lincoln had the early possession, it was the Gills who had the best of the opening chances at Sincil Bank, including one effort off the line and another that hit the woodwork.

Ben Thompson was picked out in the box by Phillips, having robbed Chris Maguire of possession, but the same Lincoln player was there to block on the line after the keeper was beaten.

It was a chance troubled Gills really needed to have taken.

Robbie McKenzie also went close on 18 minutes with a shot that bounced off the upright after keeper Josh Griffiths got a touch. The loose ball just eluded the waiting Vadaine Oliver.

Lincoln’s best opportunities were coming from down their right flank with Brooke Norton-Cuffy firing in a couple of dangerous-looking low crosses.

Anthony Scully got on the end of one ball in but was denied by Jack Tucker’s excellent sliding block while another inviting cross couldn’t be finished off by former Gills man John Marquis.

Just before the break Lincoln’s Ted Bishop escaped with a yellow card with a sliding challenge on Phillips that many felt deserved a red.

Gillingham saw little of the ball in the early stages of the second half as Lincoln probed for an opening. It nearly came from a 20-yard Maguire shot. Gills keeper Aaron Chapman couldn’t keep hold of the effort but managed to cling on at the second attempt as the ball almost rolled over the line.

Lincoln had dominated the half up until the moment Thompson swung in a cross and Oliver - a former Imps player - rose highest to nod it beyond Griffiths and put the Gills ahead with 15 minutes left.

There was a mass exodus from the ground by the home fans when Thompson smashed home a low shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards in stoppage-time.

Gillingham: Chapman, Jackson, McKenzie, Masterson, Ehmer, Tucker, O’Keefe, Phillips, Thompson, Lee (Reeves 69mins), Oliver. Subs not used: Dahlberg, Tutonda, Dickson-Peters, Carayol, Maghoma, Kelman.

Lincoln: Griffiths, Poole, Walsh, Bramall, Norton-Cuffy, McGrandles, Bishop (Sanders 58mins), Scully (Cullen 86mins), Maguire, Hopper (Whittaker 69mins), Marquis. Subs not used: Wright, Fiorini, Sorensen, Eyoma.

Attendance: 8,208 (362 away)

Referee: Ross Joyce

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