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Colchester United 0 Gillingham 2 match report: Connor Ogilvie plays in pre-season friendly

Connor Ogilvie played 90 minutes as Gillingham returned to pre-season action on Saturday.

After two weeks without a game due to a Covid outbreak in the Gills squad, Ogilvie was the surprise member of Steve Evans' squad at League 2 Colchester.

Connor Ogilvie - featured for Gillingham at Colchester on Saturday. Picture: Keith Gillard (49531173)
Connor Ogilvie - featured for Gillingham at Colchester on Saturday. Picture: Keith Gillard (49531173)

Ogilvie looked set to leave Priestfield in the summer after rejecting a new contract with the club.

He looked assured at left-back, alongside Jack Tucker - who never put a foot wrong defensively.

Gills boss Evans handed loan midfielder Daniel Phillips a start after he joined from Watford for the season. Playing alongside Stuart O'Keefe, Phillips collected an early caution from referee Alan Dale and turned into trouble at times but he was keen to close the ball down and get his foot in.

Defensively, Rhys Bennett lined up with Tucker in the centre of defence and he was nearly caught out by Trialist B in the ninth minute but with the Colchester forward reluctant to shoot, Tucker came across and Bennett recovered to snuff out the danger.

Gills immediately went up the other end and opened the scoring with a 10th-minute goal from Ben Reeves. Skipper Kyle Dempsey's 20-yard shot was fumbled by keeper Dean Gerken and Reeves reacted first to score from close range.

The exchanges between Reeves and Dempsey looked promising for Gills, who were finding their feet after a long break in pre-season.

Keeper Aaron Chapman pushed away Freddie Sears' free-kick, who was then denied by the Gills keeper after a quickly-taken free-kick caught te visitors napping.

At the other end, Dempsey's right-foot shot was deflected wide from 20 yards after a long throw-in was only half-cleared.

In the second half, Ryan Jackson made a timely block to deny Noah Chilvers after a flowing Colchester move.

Then on the hour Chapman was out smartly to deny Sears after he got the better of Jackson, who subsequently hobbled off and was replaced by Harvey Lintott.

Gills made six changes with just over 20 minutes left, with John Akinde and Olly Lee among those coming off the bench.

Akinde almost set up a goal for O'Keefe with 17 minutes left, the ball falling in the box for the Gills midfielder whose right-foot shot was parried by substitute keeper, Trialist D.

Gillingham added a second goal with nine minutes left when pressure from a series of corners finally told. The ball was worked back into the danger area by Danny Lloyd, and as Akinde looked to create room to get his shot away, Tucker stepped forward to fire the ball home.

Olly Lee picked up a late booking for a foul on Harry Beadle.

Colchester: Gerken (Trialist D 62mins), Welch-Hayes (Trialist 79inins), Clampin, Chambers (Eastman 79mins), Smith (Beadle 69mins), Wiredu (Cornish 79mins), Skuse, Sears (Tovide 79mins), Chilvers (Thomas 79mins), Coxe, Trialists B. Subs: Collins, Judge, Eastman, Trialist.

Gillingham: Chapman, Jackson (Lintott 62mins), Tucker, MacDonald (Woods 68mins), Dempsey (Lloyd 68mins), Reeves (Akehurst 68mins), Ogilvie, Bennett (Gale 68mins), Oliver (Akinde 68mins), O'Keefe (Chambers 76mins), Phillips (Lee 68mins). Subs: Crump, Chambers.

Referee: Alan Dale.

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