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Colchester 0 Gillingham 2: David Tutonda and Tom Nichols score for the Gills in League 2 win at the Community Stadium

Gillingham climbed off the bottom of the Football League after clinching their first away win of the season.

David Tutonda and recent signing Tom Nichols headed in goals for Gillingham during the opening half at in-form Colchester - a team who had won three in a row before the weekend. The hosts had plenty of the ball and four penalty appeals turned down but were left frustrated.

Tom Nichols was on target for the Gills again at Colchester
Tom Nichols was on target for the Gills again at Colchester

Gills boss Neil Harris stuck with a winning formula, naming the same side which had won 2-0 against Hartlepool United the week before. That match was seen as the turning point for the club after bringing in new faces to help turn their season around.

Harris was keen to build on that momentum as they made the short trip to Essex, backed by over 1,000 fans.

Last Saturday was the first time Harris’ team had managed more than a goal in a league game this season. By half-time at Colchester they had done it again.

Those goals came after a few nervy moments for the Gills. Colchester were on top before the visitors opened the scoring.

Ossama Ashley was a fraction away from converting a John Akinde cross, Junior Tchamadeu put a shot into the side-netting and Noah Chilvers was denied by Gills keeper Glenn Morris.

It was the Gills who took the lead in the 37th minute, Alex MacDonald’s ball into the box was flicked on by Timothee Dieng and Tutonda got infront of the defender at the far post, sending a header back across goal, over the keeper and into the net.

Colchester responded positively but found themselves two down at the break.

Dom Jefferies robbed the ball off a defender and forced a corner as goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara saved at his near post. MacDonald’s flag-kick was met by Nichols, heading in without an opposing player near him, for his second goal in two games for the Gills.

David Tutonda opened the scoring for Gillingham at Colchester
David Tutonda opened the scoring for Gillingham at Colchester

Those two goals from Nichols saw him sit joint top of Gills’ league goalscoring charts, level with Mikael Mandron, who got his first for new club Motherwell on Saturday.

MacDonald fired in a good cross early in the second half for striker Oli Hawkins but he headed wide under pressure.

Colchester had a fair bit of the ball as they looked for a way back into the game. There was a flurry of corner kicks as Morris was kept busy. The Gills keeper plucked Dallison’s header out of the air as he headed one effort towards goal from a set-piece.

The home side had two penalty appeals turned down in the opening half and were becoming frustrated as they looked for a little help from the referee. Former Gills striker Akinde picked up a booking for a foul on Shaun Williams immediately after another decision went against them.

Referee Alan Young turned down another appeal for a Colchester penalty - this time hotly contested - with their players surrounding the official and the home crowd shouting for handball.

Colchester kept looking for penalties and with five minutes left Samson Tovide went down in the box but once again Mr Young wasn’t interested.

Morris made a strong stop to deny Luke Hannant in the final minute as the Gills kept another clean sheet.

Gillingham: Morris, McKenzie, Tutonda, Wright, Ehmer, Williams, MacDonald (Alexander 73mins), Jefferies (O'Keefe 89mins), Dieng, Nichols (Lapslie 73mins), Hawkins. Subs not used: Turner, Walker, Adelakun, Gbode.

Colchester: O’Hara, Wood, Chambers, Hall, Dallison (Tovide 63mins), Skuse, Chilvers, Ashley (Read 53mins), Tchamadeu, Jay (Hannant 83mins), Akinde. Subs: Hornby, Smith,Sears, Kelleher.

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 5,435 (1,203 away)

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