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Gillingham 0 Blackburn Rovers 0 - League 1 match report

Gillingham held title chasing Blackburn Rovers to a goalless draw on Tuesday night.

Bradley Dack made his Priestfield return but was unable to inflict any damage on his former side.

Gillingham had a couple of great opportunities to pull off a shock but they couldn’t finish them off.

The returning Josh Parker on the ball Picture: Andy Jones
The returning Josh Parker on the ball Picture: Andy Jones

Gills boss Steve Lovell brought Josh Parker back into his starting XI to join Conor Wilkinson upfront.

Coming off the back of a dour draw with Doncaster and a 4-0 hiding by Southend, the Gills looked a lot better against the league leaders, with Parker making a difference upfront.

Callum Reilly’s return to midfield also gave them extra bite. This time a goalless draw was no disgrace, against a Blackburn team packed with talent.

Bradley Dack back at Priestfield for Blackburn Rovers Picture: Andy Jones
Bradley Dack back at Priestfield for Blackburn Rovers Picture: Andy Jones

It was Blackburn keeper David Raya who made the best save of a goalless opening half, getting down well to save as Parker headed a Conor Wilkinson cross at goal.

Blackburn, as expected, had more of the ball but did little to threaten against an organised Gills defence. A hopeful long range shot from Corry Evans was routinely saved by Tomas Holy and Dack’s cushioned header was never going to beat the big man.

Darragh Leniham’s glancing header from a corner late in the half went close but that was about it for chances, the Gills going off at the break without too much to worry about.

Gillingham's Conor Wilkinson and Blackburn Rovers' Darragh Lenihan battle for the ball Picture: Andy Jones
Gillingham's Conor Wilkinson and Blackburn Rovers' Darragh Lenihan battle for the ball Picture: Andy Jones

The second half continued to be evenly fought, with neither side able to find an opening early on. Wilkinson tried to bend one home from outside the box and wasn’t far off.

Dack’s night ended before the hour, replaced by Jack Payne and leaving the pitch to a good reception from the Priestfield crowd.

Gillingham were unable to capitalise on a good spell around the hour mark and Blackburn defender Charlie Mulgrew almost punished them with a free-kick from the edge of the box, beating the wall but not Holy.

Conor Wilkinson shoots just wide for Gillingham Picture: Andy Jones
Conor Wilkinson shoots just wide for Gillingham Picture: Andy Jones

The visitors began to dictate but Gills remained a threat and Wilkinson dragged a shot just wide, committing a foul in the process according to the referee, a decision that angered the home bench.

Parker got in on goal with 10 minutes left, just the keeper to beat, but a heavy touch meant Raya was able to collect the ball from the onrushing Gills forward.

Mulgrew again found the target with a free-kick late on but once again Holy was there to keep the ball out.

Gillingham were pressing for a winner late on but the game ended without a goal.

Gillingham: Holy, Ehmer, Zakuani, Nugent, Wagstaff, Garmston, Byrne, Hessenthaler, Reilly, Wilkinson (List 80mins), Parker (Nash 90mins). Subs: Hadler, Lacey, Ogilvie, Stevenson, Nasseri.

Blackburn: Raya, Williams, Smallwood, Graham (Samuel 63mins), Mulgrew, Leniham, Evans, Vennett, Conway (Whittingham 55mins), Dack (Payne 55mins), Armstrong. Subs: Leutwiler, Bell, Antonsson, Downing.

Attendance: 6,361 (840 away)

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