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Notts County 1 Gillingham 0 - match report

Forward Luke Norris in action for Gillingham Picture: Barry Goodwin
Forward Luke Norris in action for Gillingham Picture: Barry Goodwin

Gillingham were denied a point at Notts County after Luke Norris’ late penalty was saved.

County took the lead at Meadow Lane 10 minutes before the break with a header from Shaun Harrad.

Cody McDonald had several chances in the second half for the Gills and they had a great chance to level from the penalty spot.

But home keeper Roy Carroll dived down low to save Norris’ spot-kick and deny the visitors anything from the match.

Defeat extended Gillingham’s run without a away league win to six games.

There were three changes to the Gills starting eleven, with Jake Hessenthaler, Aaron Morris and Jermaine McGlashan returned to the squad.

Norris – scorer of the wonder goal against Sheffield United – had to make do with a place on the bench as boss Peter Taylor remained faithful to Cody McDonald upfront.

The Gills had their first chance of the game just 15 seconds in, when Doug Loft tried his luck from outside the box, but it went just over.

Loft was to repeat the feat in first-time stoppage time, getting fractionally closer, with a shot that bounced off the top of the bar.

Moments before that Kortney Hause had fired over from 35 yards.

Despite their efforts, the Gills found themselves behind at the break.

A cross from County winger Stephen McLaughlin – on loan from bigger neighbours Forest – was helped on by Jake Cassidy and Harrad nodded home from close-range, without too much pressure.

County went off at the break edging the contest and could have had two, with Stephen Bywater saving well from Garry Thompson and Jake Hessenthaler clearing the loose ball from off the line.

Norris came on at the break for Jake Hessenthaler but it was McDonald who came close to grabbing an early second half leveller. He nodded McGlashan’s cross a fraction wide of the post.

Bywater had to be at his best to deny Harrad a second on 53 minutes, with a low save but Gills striker McDonald got a sniff again moments later. His shot beat the keeper but didn’t have enough pace to beat the covering defender.

McDonald was on the end of a Norris cross just after the hour mark but his header from close-range found the arms of keeper Roy Carroll.

With 10 minutes left the Gills were handed a golden chance, after Dack was tripped in the box. But Norris was unable to convert from the spot as Carroll clung on to the shot.

Home hero Carroll needed treatment moments later as the keeper got his body behind a vicious Norris shot.

The Gills almost conceded a second in stoppage time, after Aaron Morris' back-pass went straight to Thompson, but Bywater saved.

Notts County: Carroll, Dumbuya, Adams, Hollis, G Thompson, Cassidy (Ismail 71mins), Jones, Noble, Harrad (Smith 86mins), McLaughlin, Laing. Subs not used: Spiess, Wroe, Murray, McKenzie, Cranston.

Gillingham: Bywater, A Morris, Martin, Egan, Hause, Loft, Pritchard, Hessenthaler, McGlashan (German 82mins), Dickenson (Dack 61mins), McDonald (Norris 46mins). Subs not used: G Morris, Linganzi, Davies, Hoyte.

Attendance: 4,800 (394 Gills)

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