Published: 20:45, 23 July 2019
| Updated: 00:20, 24 July 2019
Brandon Hanlan’s volleyed finish was the highlight of a tough workout for Gillingham at Dover.
The hosts took a first half lead with an early goal from Inih Effiong but two goals in two minutes shortly after the restart put the Gills ahead.
Elliott List and Mark Byrne both netted for Gillingham but Alfie Pavey levelled the well-fought contest back up.
Boss Steve Evans named a strong team for the game at Dover but it was the hosts who claimed an early advantage.
Keeper Jack Bonham came out of his goal but his clearance hit the Dover striker Effiong and he took full advantage, rolling the ball home with four minutes played.
Andy Hessenthaler’s Dover side were physical, particularly big striker Effiong, and won plenty in the Gills box.
Effiong’s strike partner Pavey headed a couple of chances wide and put another one into Bonhamn’s arms.
Gillingham came close with a couple of crosses from Bradley Garmston, but nobody was on the end of them. When Brandon Hanlan’s cross was met by Mikael Ndoli he couldn’t get the effort on target.
Effiong nearly made it 2-0, lifting a shot just over the bar with Bonham again out of his goal.
Gillingham didn’t look as sharp as they had in previous games and couldn’t complain about the half-time score.
The same eleven went out for the second half and boss Evans, who had watched the first from the stands, returned to the bench for a closer watch.
Evans watched his side make a good start to the second half, levelling the scores after 50 minutes when List met Lee Hodson’s low cross and fired it into the bottom corner.
There was an even better finish two minutes later as Byrne’s cross came off the head of Scott Doe and Hanlan volleyed home from 15 yards out.
More chances fell to the Gills in the early stages with Stuart O’Keefe and List both going wide.
Despite the improvements, Dover found a way back into the match after 64 minutes, with Pavey finding himself one on one with the Gills keeper and finishing well after taking it around Bonham.
Dover: Worgan, Simpson, Taylor, Doe, Lokko, Gobern, Reason, Woods, Effiong, Pavey, Hinchiri. Subs not used: Passley, L'Ghoul, Wratten, Cumberbatch, Munns, Rigg, Mersin.
Gillingham: Bonham, Hodson, Ehmer, Jones, Garmston, O'Keefe, Cisse, Byrne, List, Ndjoli, Hanlan. Subs not used: Walsh, Fuller, Charles-Cook, Tucker, Ogilvie, Reilly, Oldaker, Mandron.
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More by this authorLuke Cawdell