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Dartford 1 Gillingham 2 pre-season match report

Gillingham emerged victorious from a tougher pre-season test.

Goals from Elliott List and Mark Byrne put the Gills ahead in the opening half at Dartford.

Boss Steve Evans gave many of his players over an hour as he mixed players and formations for the match at Princes Park.

Mark Byrne gives chase for the Gills Picture: Andy Jones
Mark Byrne gives chase for the Gills Picture: Andy Jones

Gillingham were stepping up the quality of opposition after facing Faversham and Folkestone in their first two pre-season games.

National South side Dartford included seven of their summer signings in the starting eleven at Princes Park.

The Gills opened the scoring, with 10 minutes gone, when Regan Charles-Cook’s corner was cleared into the path of List and his sweet strike flew in from 25 yards.

List was playing upfront in a three-pronged attack alongside Charles-Cook and trialist striker Mikael Mandron.

Elliott List on the attack for Gills Picture: Andy Jones
Elliott List on the attack for Gills Picture: Andy Jones

Former Colchester striker Mandron had come close earlier in the game, almost getting on the end of a cross from Mark Byrne.

Dartford included a trialist upfront and he created several chances, finally scoring at the third attempt. Connor Ogivlie was unable to get a firm clearance on a ball over the top and the Dartford man pounced, shooting low across Jack Bonham.

Gills keeper Bonham had made several saves in the opening half.

Just three minutes after Dartford’s equaliser, the Gills went infront again, when Max Ehmer headed a corner back into the box and Byrne got a vital touch to beat keeper Mark Smith.

Max Ehmer heads goalwards for Mark Byrne to get on the end of and score Picture: Andy Jones
Max Ehmer heads goalwards for Mark Byrne to get on the end of and score Picture: Andy Jones

Alfie Jones was Gills’ only second half change, playing in the middle of the park as replacement for Lee Hodson, who took a knock at the of the first half. The Gills switched to 4-4-2 after the break.

Charles-Cook put in some inviting early balls at the start of the second half and tested the keeper himself with a shot across the face of goal, but Smith was alert to it.

It was a cross from Fuller that almost led to a third for Gillingham, Mandron connecting but his effort came off the upright. The striker also headed a chance wide from an excellent Stuart O’Keefe delivery,

A busy spell for Mandron saw him bend a chance just wide after good play from the Gills.

Dartford went close with 15 minutes when another of their trialists dragged a shot wide.

Jordan Wynter and Connor Ogilvie compete for the ball Picture: Andy Jones
Jordan Wynter and Connor Ogilvie compete for the ball Picture: Andy Jones

Dartford: Smith, Wynter (Leveson 85mins), Trialist (Crook 72mins), Bonner, Hayes (Vint 46mins), Allen (Broadie 35mins), Flisher (Greenhalgh 12mins), Hill (McQueen 46mins), Blackman (Trialist 72mins), Wanadio (Trialist 46mins), Trialist (J Smith 72mins).

Gillingham: Bonham (Walsh 64mins), Hodson (Jones 46mins), Fuller (Garmston 64mins), Ehmer (Tucker 64mins), Ogilvie (Oldaker 64mins), O’Keefe (Woods 64mins), Byrne (Thomas 64mins), Charles-Cook (Hanlan 64mins), List (Reilly 64mins), Cisse (Willock 64mins), Mandron (Ndjoli 64mins).

Attendance: 815

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