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Wycombe Wanderers 0 Gillingham 1 - League 1 match report

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham returned home with maximum points thanks to Regan Charles-Cook’s late goal.

While the hosts had the better of the first half chances, the Gills edged the second, but they took until seven minutes from time to find a breakthrough.

Brandon Hanlan provided the ball in and Charles-Cook guided the ball home from close range just five minutes after coming on as a sub.

Regan Charles-Cook thanks Brandon Hanlan for the assist Picture: Ady Kerry
Regan Charles-Cook thanks Brandon Hanlan for the assist Picture: Ady Kerry

Gillingham went into the game with one win from their previous six but were buoyed by some positive performances of late.

Former Gills striker Adebayo Akinfenwa led the line for the mid-table hosts and, as expected, was at the centre of the home side’s best early chances.

Billy Bingham was back in the Gills midfield as their only change from the team which started the midweek match at Sunderland but he limped off before the break, visibly upset after picking up another injury.

Wycombe had the better of the early exchanges and only a good save from Tomas Holy prevented Akinfenwa from opening the scoring on 10 minutes. He took the ball down and fired at goal on the turn, forcing the Gills keeper into action.

Brandon Hanlan takes a shot Picture: Ady Kerry
Brandon Hanlan takes a shot Picture: Ady Kerry

He had the best chance of the half but couldn’t keep his shot down after Dominic Gape had crossed low, having beaten Leo Da Silva Lopes out wide. The big striker lifted his shot over the stand which housed the vocal Gillingham supporters.

Tom Eaves hit a shot wide for the Gills and headed another chance over, although the flag was up for offside. The only on-target shot of the half for the visitors was a scuffed effort from Brandon Hanlan that keeper Ryan Allsop comfortably dealt with.

Wycombe, the better side first half, had an impressive home record for clean sheets and only the division’s top two could better it. The Gills went into the break without finding a way through.

Billy Bingham in action before going off injured Picture: Ady Kerry
Billy Bingham in action before going off injured Picture: Ady Kerry

Dean Parrett fired over for the Gills in the second half after an earlier effort from Burke tested the alertness of the home goalie.

Parrett had replaced Bingham in the defensive midfield role but was helping drive the Gills forward. Another of his surging runs through the middle set Mark Byrne up with a shot but the powerful effort was blocked.

Akinfenwa continued to be the go-to man for Wycombe, chesting the ball down for Scott Kashket on the hour, but the shot was held by Holy.

Another run from Parrett led to a chance for Luke O’Neill but he couldn’t keep the effort down.

Graham Burke in action for the Gills Picture: Ady Kerry
Graham Burke in action for the Gills Picture: Ady Kerry

Wycombe right-back Jason McCarthy missed a golden chance with nine minutes left, arriving onto a cross at the back post, only to put the ball over the bar.

The match was finally settled on 83 minutes when Charles-Cook was on hand to score after good work from Hanlan.

It still needed a great save from Holy, from point-blank, to deny Akinfenwa as the former Gills man looked to stab the ball home for an immediate leveller.

Wycombe: Allsop, McCarthy, Jacobson, Jombati, Stewart, Thompson, Gape, Bloomfield (c), Cowan-Hall (Freeman 71mins), Kashket (Samuel 62mins), Akinfenwa. Subs not used: Yates, Bean, Owens, Harriman, Tyson.

Gillingham: Holy, O’Neill, Fuller, Ogilvie, Ehmer, Bingham (Parrett 45mins), Byrne, Lopes, Burke (Charles-Cook 78mins), Hanlan, Eaves (Campbell 67mins). Subs not used: Hadler, Oldaker, Reilly, List.

Attendance: 4,879 (472 away)

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