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Plymouth Argyle 1 Gillingham 0: League 1 match report


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Gillingham conceded two minutes from time at Plymouth to suffer their first defeat of the League 1 season on Saturday.

Luke Jephcott was the scorer but it was hard on a Gills side who looked set to be rewarded for a battling performance.

John Akinde - one of three changes for Gills. Picture: Ady Kerry
John Akinde - one of three changes for Gills. Picture: Ady Kerry

The visitors, having had the best of the first half, worked hard as Argyle threw everything at them after the break.

But there was disappointment at the end when Jephcott struck the only goal.

Gills boss Steve Evans made three changes to the side who drew with Lincoln on the opening day, Ryan Jackson, John Akinde and Mustapha Carayol coming in for Olly Lee, Danny Lloyd and Rhys Bennett.

The Gills, 1-0 winners when these teams met at Priestfield on the final day of last season, made a bright start with most of the play in Argyle’s half in the opening 10 minutes.

The presence of two big men up top gave the Pilgrims’ back three something to think about and there was an early chance when David Tutonda’s cross from the left was met by Vadaine Oliver, with Michael Cooper pushing his header past the post.

There was a good opening at the other end when Ryan Hardie’s cross found Ryan Broom but Ryan Jackson did well to take the ball off his toe.

Around the 20-minute mark, a lovely challenge by Kyle Dempsey triggered a Gills break down the left by Carayol.

His cross found Oliver before Dempsey’s shot was blocked, with Carayol’s thumping follow-up tipped over by Cooper.

Plymouth were starting to get a foothold in the game at the half-hour mark and threatened when Conor Grant’s inswinging corner was headed goalwards by Dan Scarr, with Jamie Cumming pushing it over.

Akinde might have made more of Oliver’s flick for the Gills before the Pilgrims broke and saw Pantuche Camara head wide from Grant’s cross while Stuart O’Keefe was down injured.

Plymouth, attacking the home end, went for Gills at the start of the second half.

It was easily the Pilgrims’ best spell of the match and required some alert Gills defending to keep them at bay.

It wasn’t always pretty but they protected Cumming’s goal and when Plymouth appealed for a penalty for a challenge on Jephcott, referee Charles Breakspear was having none of it.

Evans made three changes in 10 minutes in a bid to get a grip on game and he successfully disrupted Plymouth’s flow for a spell.

Argyle did, though, move the ball nicely from right to left moving into the last 20 minutes before Grant’s cross was headed on to the roof of the net by Jephcott.

Camara fired over from distance and saw a low strike palmed out for a corner as Plymouth grew frustrated.

Home fans again screamed for a penalty when Broom went down under challenge from Rhys Bennett, then Broom’s shot from 25 yards hit Max Ehmer’s heel and brushed the top of the net.

Plymouth kept knocking at the door and got their reward two minutes from time.

Grant’s cross from the left struck Ehmer’s foot and landed at the feet of Jephcott, who curled his strike into the far corner.

Plymouth: Cooper, Houghton, Wilson, Scarr, Broom (Gilleshpey 90+4mins), Edwards, Hardie, Grant, Galloway, Camara (Randell 90+3mins), Jephcott. Subs not used: Burton, Randell, Law, Craske, Tomlinson, Shirley.

Gillingham: Cumming, Jackson (Bennett 64mins), Tutonda, O’Keefe (Lee 61mins), Ehmer, Tucker, Dempsey, Akinde (Lloyd 55mins), Oliver, Phillips, Carayol. Subs not used: Chapman, Sithole, Lintott, Akehurst.

Referee: Charles Breakspear.

Attendance: 10,854.

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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