Published: 14:45, 17 October 2020
| Updated: 19:08, 17 October 2020
Gillingham failed to shine at StadiumMK on Saturday as a goal in each half left them empty-handed.
Cameron Jerome struck midway through the first half for Milton Keynes and Gillingham were up against it when Carlton Morris made it 2-0 shortly after the restart. The visitors were unable to fight back from two down, registering just one shot on target.
Gillingham, four unbeaten in the league prior to the match, sat fourth in the League 1 table. Manager Steve Evans brought midfielders Kyle Dempsey and Scott Robertson back in from injury as two changes to his XI.
Hosts MK, in contrast, were looking for their first win of the new campaign but were able to hand recently signed striker Jerome a first start, a player who has commanded multi-million pound transfers in his career and has Premier League experience and goals behind him.
It was Jerome who put the hosts ahead with 19 minutes gone, sweeping the ball home to finish off a good move. Louis Thompson had picked out Regan Poole with a good pass and then the ball was cut back from the byline for the MK Dons striker to score.
Gillingham responded well and got plenty of the ball, with much of their play concentrated on the left flank where Jordan Graham was looking to make something happen.
It was a cross from that flank by Kyle Dempsey - back in the side following injury - that almost led to an equaliser. Dominic Samuel was among a number of players just fraction off getting a touch on the whipped ball in.
Samuel had earlier had a strong penalty shout when Dean Lewington had pushed him over as he was chasing a loose ball. Referee Neil Hair, who had given the Gills an identical free-kick when Jack Tucker had been fouled outside the box moments earlier, chose this time to let play continue.
MK got a second four minutes after the restart as another good move caught the Gills out, Thompson finding Morris in the box after swapping passes with Jerome and keeper Bonham was beaten to the ball.
There was an immediate switch for the Gills as John Akinde was introduced to partner Vadaine Oliver up top.
Bonham later saved from Fraser and Daniel Harvie dragged another good chance wide for the hosts, with Thompson involved again. Scott Fraser’s sligh touch deceived the defence but the MK player couldn’t make it count.
Harvie went wide again for the hosts with 20 minutes left, advancing into the box, but he couldn’t get his shot on target.
Bonham stuck out a leg to deny MK’s Joe Mason after he raced clear from an angled ball forward while at the other end the Gills were struggling to work any clear-cut openings. The Gills keeper came to the rescue again with 10 minutes left when Morris found himself free in the box. Unmarked, he couldn’t find a way past Bonham.
Graham fired a free-kick well over for the Gills with five minutes left while Ogilvie nodded a late chance wide.
MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams, Lewington, Keogh, Poole, Kasumu, Morris, Fraser (Houghton 74mins), Harvie, Thompson (Gladwin 83mins), Jerome (Mason 69mins). Subs not used: Walker, Cargill, O'Hora, Sorensen.
Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Ogilvie, Tucker, Medley, Drysdale (Akinde 49mins), Robertson (Eccles 67mins), Dempsey, Oliver, Graham, Samuel (Coyle 67mins). Subs not used: Walsh, Maghoma, McKenzie, MacDonald.
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