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MK Dons 0 Gillingham 0: Vadaine Oliver and Max Ehmer back from injury for Gills, Kyle Dempsey on the bench for League 1 clash that ends goalless

Gillingham were able to recall some of their top players from injury for the trip to high-flying MK Dons and came away with a point.

The Gills defended well to keep Milton Keynes out in the opening half before offering more of a threat themselves after the turnaround. Neither could find the quality where it mattered but the Gills will be delighted with the point after a terrific effort. The draw ends a run of five straight defeats in League 1 for the Gills.

Vadaine Oliver was back for Gillingham at MK Dons
Vadaine Oliver was back for Gillingham at MK Dons

Gillingham boss Steve Evans had the luxury of having some of his best players back from injury, albeit not quite 100%. Defender Max Ehmer and striker Vadaine Oliver started while captain Kyle Dempsey was named on the bench.

The Gills made the most of their Covid break by managing to get fit some of their injured senior players.

While it was good news to have those players back, the Gills faced a tough task against a side on the fringes of the play-off places. It was Gillingham’s first game since December 11 after three games off because of Covid issues.

Gills keeper Jamie Cumming made two saves in the opening half and looked at ease with both.

MK Dons’ best chance of the first 45 fell right at the end of the half, with Scott Twine firing wide from Peter Kioso’s cross.

Up until then the Gills had done well to keep MK relatively quiet, restricting them to a few blocked shots and some half chances that went wide. Cumming had held onto a shot from Mo Eisa and a looping deflected effort off Harry Darling.

Phillips, who had shaken off a hamstring injury to start, broke up a couple of dangerous looking situations for the Gills. Their only on-target effort of the half was a weak free-kick from Mustapha Carayol. Phillips put another shot wide of the mark.

MK striker Twine fired at goal early in the second half but it was another routine save by the Gills keeper. At the other end stand-in captain Stuart O’Keefe had a shot cleared and moments later Ryan Jackson had one blocked as the visitors showed a bit more confidence going forward.

Robbie McKenzie fired into the side netting and the versatile player was soon required to play upfront after Oliver was withdrawn.

MK went close with a shot from Matt O’Riley that went just wide with 20 minutes left and it needed a brave challenge from Jack Tucker to prevent substitute David Kasumu having a sniff.

Cumming had to be alert to turn a dipping effort from Twine over the bar as MK showed some late urgency.

Gillingham: Cumming, Jackson, McKenzie, Ehmer, Bennett, Tucker, O’Keefe, Phillips, Lloyd (Reeves 78mins), Carayol, Oliver (Tutonda 63mins). Subs not used: Chapman, Lintott, Sithole, Lee, Dempsey.

MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington, O’Hora, Darling, O’Riley, Twine, Eisa (Robson 65mins), McEachran (Kasumu 72mins), Parrott (Brown 86mins), Harvie, Kioso. Subs not used: Ravizzoli, Watson, Jules, Boateng.

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 7,899 (420 away)

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