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Gillingham 1 Stockport County 1 match report: George Lapslie's opener cancelled out by Will Collar as League 2 clash at Priestfield ends level

A late equaliser denied Gillingham victory against promotion-chasing Stockport.

George Lapslie’s second-half goal put Gills on course for victory but Will Collar levelled in the 89th minute.

George Lapslie put the Gills in front.
George Lapslie put the Gills in front.

Gills had a couple of late penalty appeals turned down while Glenn Morris made a vital injury-time save from Paddy Madden to secure the hosts a point.

Neil Harris made two changes to the side beaten at Northampton on Monday with Conor Masterson in for Will Wright at the back and Alex MacDonald replacing Ollie Hawkins, who was ruled out through illness.

MacDonald had the best chance of a goalless first half as Gills threatened to take an early lead.

It came courtesy of a mistake in the away defence in the seventh minute with a shanked clearance from Neill Byrne allowing MacDonald through on goal but Ben Hinchcliffe saved well with his legs.

Gillingham’s only other effort on target in the opening 45 minutes saw Tom Nichols’ curling effort from a Robbie McKenzie pass again well saved by the County keeper.

That Nichols strike came moments after Stockport, looking for a fourth successive away win, had their best opening, Glenn Morris sharply off his line after Kyle Wootton played in Myles Hippolyte.

Gills celebrate George Lapslie's goal.
Gills celebrate George Lapslie's goal.

Stockport had more of the ball, particularly in the latter stages of the first half, but with Gillingham keeping their shape well, they struggled to do anything with it.

Both Gills centre-backs, Masterson and Max Ehmer, were in the book by the midway point of the first half for fouls on the edge of the box, but a pair of Ryan Rydel free-kicks came to nothing.

Ehmer thumped wide for Gillingham just after the break while Morris made a fingertip save at the other end after substitute Paddy Madden set up Hippolyte.

The Gills were warming up and a multi-pass move outside the County box ended with Cheye Alexander’s first-time strike from a Nichols lay-off saved by Hinchcliffe.

Harris’ side kept play alive and when the ball came back into the box, Lapslie finished on the turn for a 54th-minute lead.

Gillingham pushed for more in the minutes following the goal and were the break of the ball away from getting in a couple of times.

Robbie McKenzie in first-half action.
Robbie McKenzie in first-half action.

County, having cleared their heads, went for an equaliser.

Collar went close with one header and, moments later, converted his next attempt after meeting a right-wing cross.

Gills had two big penalty shouts turned down in six minutes of added time.

The first, on Lapslie, looked optimistic, while substitute Tristan Abrahams couldn’t believe it when Martin Woods waved away appeals following a challenge by Fraser Horsfall.

Stockport almost nicked it at the death, Morris with an excellent low save from Madden's drive.

Gillingham: Morris, Alexander, Ehmer, Williams, MacDonald (Wright 81mins), McKenzie, Jefferies (Coleman 81mins), Nichols (Abrahams 86mins), Masterson, Dieng, Lapslie. Subs not used: Turner, Page, Clarke.

Stockport: Hinchcliffe, Knoyle, Wright (Camps 64mins), Byrne (Hussey 46mins), Horsfall, Collar, Stretton (Madden 46mins), Rydel (Johnson 75mins), Croasdale (Olaofe 75mins), Wootton, Hippolyte. Subs not used: Jaros, Evans.

Referee: Martin Woods.

Attendance: 5,810 (519 away).

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