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Port Vale 2 Gillingham 1 – League 1 match report


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Gillingham conceded twice in the last 15 minutes as they left Port Vale with nothing.

Josh Wright put the Gills ahead midway through the first half but they couldn’t hang on.

Remie Streete levelled the scores and Alex Jones fired Vale infront with five minutes left.

Gillingham manager Justin Edinburgh Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham manager Justin Edinburgh Picture: Barry Goodwin

Gillingham boss Justin Edinburgh made changes in personnel and formation as they went looking for a third away win in League 1.

Out from the starting XI went strikers Rory Donnelly and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, along with suspended Ryan Jackson.

Deji Oshilaja started the day in Jackson’s place but Edinburgh was forced into making a positional change after the defender came close to receiving a red card in the first half.

The Gills looked good going forward with their 4-2-3-1 formation as Bradley Dack and Scott Wagstaff came into the team and joined Emmanuel Osadebe as a three-man unit playing behind Cody McDonald.

But it was from a training-ground set-piece that the Gills took the lead in the 25 minute. It was the start of a purple spell for the visitors.

Dack’s corner was low and found McDonald on the edge of the box. The front-man beat the covering defender with a great first touch and when he drilled the ball into the danger-zone, Wright was there lurking to score from close-range.

McDonald came close to scoring moments later, running onto a througball from Dack, but Ben Purkiss was there on the line to deflect the ball out of play. Oshilaja’s header from the subsequent corner went straight to keeper Jak Alnwick.

Vale’s main threat was coming from forward Jerome Thomas, operating down the left flank. It took a great last-ditch challenge from Max Ehmer to prevent him running in on goal but Oshilaja was having bigger problems.

Referee Carl Boysen issued a yellow card to Oshilaja for a trip on Thomas with 35 minutes gone and 60 seconds later the same situation happened again but, much to the annoyance of the home crowd, the official issued him with a final warning instead of a second caution.

Edinburgh responded by moving Josh Pask to right-back and for the final 10 minutes of the half Vale looked the biggest threat. Only a good save from Jonathan Bond denied Sam Foley the equaliser, as he headed Nathan Smith’s cross goalwards.

Oshilaja was withdrawn at the break, for Elliott List, with Wagstaff moving to right-back.

Vale almost levelled just before the hour mark and it came from a free-kick, after Wagstaff was penalised for handball. Remie Streete smashed the base of the post after the ball was played into his path by Tavares.

A rare chance at the other end came after Mark Byrne robbed Anthony Grant of the ball and as space opened up, he fired just over from 20 yards. List was also threatening with his pace.

With 20 minutes left it needed clearances from Osadebe and Wright to keep out Vale as they came close from a corner. Gills were hanging on as Bond saved a header moments later.

Vale were level with 15 minutes left. Gills failed to clear Sam Foley’s free-kick – conceded after a foul by Ehmer - and when Bond saved from Gezim Shalaj, home defender Streete was on hand to fire into the net.

With 10 minutes left Anthony Grant was denied by Bond, making a great save to tip his shot over after he got in behind the defence.

Vale went ahead with five minutes left when Jones turned on the edge of the box before finding the bottom corner with a shot.

Gillingham: Bond, Oshilaja (List 46mins), Konchesky, Ehmer, Pask, Byrne, Wright, Wagstaff, Osadebe, Dack (Emmanuel-Thomas 79mins), McDonald. Subs not used: Nelson, Hessenthaler, Knott, Oldaker, Dickenson.

Port Vale: Alnwick, Purkiss, Streete, Knops, Tavares (Shalaj 64mins), Foley, Petersun (Cicilia 74mins), Thomas (Brown 86mins), Smith, Jones, Grant. Subs not used: Macintosh, Pereira, Santos, Hart.

Attendance: 4,719 (197 away)

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