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Gillingham 0 Blackpool 1 match report

By Craig Tucker

Gillingham missed out on a third straight win when they lost at home to Blackpool.

Former Aston Villa striker Nathan Delfouneso headed the only goal early in the second half after a mistake by Max Ehmer.

Substitute Elliott List went close to an injury-time leveller but Gills had rarely looked like equalising.

Darren Oldaker impresses in midfield for the Gills Picture: Ady Kerry
Darren Oldaker impresses in midfield for the Gills Picture: Ady Kerry

Steve Lovell’s side, looking to build on their recent revival, had the best of the first half and threatened to break the deadlock a couple of times.

They went closest in the 12th minute when Connor Ogilvie’s cracking first-time strike from 20 yards hit the bar after Darren Oldaker’s shot was blocked.

Talking of Oldaker, he looked bright again, so comfortable and natural in possession of the ball.

He made the Gills tick and tried his luck a couple more times in the first half.

The youngster had another shot blocked when Luke O’Neill pulled a free-kick back to the edge of the area.

And it was Oldaker’s free-kick late in the half, cutting across the ball, that tested keeper Chris Mafoumbi, with Mark Byrne heading the follow-up over the bar.

Gabriel Zakuani beats goalscorer Nathan Delfouneso to the ball Picture: Ady Kerry
Gabriel Zakuani beats goalscorer Nathan Delfouneso to the ball Picture: Ady Kerry

Blackpool looked happy to play on the break, showing limited ambition.

Full-back Michael Nottingham fizzed a couple of dangerous balls across the box but the Gills looked comfortable at the back.

Tomas Holy was worked just once in the opening 45, making a simple save from Ben Heneghan’s header look awkward when he swatted the ball away.

Eaves couldn’t get his shot away just after the break and Blackpool took the lead in the 49th minute.

Ehmer’s poor clearance on the edge of his own box was picked up by Chris Taylor and his cross from the left was headed in by Delfouneso.

Oldaker had another effort blocked after Regan Charles-Cook led a breakaway as Gillingham looked for a quick response.

Tom Eaves looks to get Gills going Picture: Ady Kerry
Tom Eaves looks to get Gills going Picture: Ady Kerry

There was still plenty of time but Gills started to go unnecessarily long, too soon.

It became the easy option to pump balls forwards when, earlier, they’d shown they could be a threat by keeping it on the deck.

When Gills did pop it about in midfield it led to a chance for Barry Fuller, now playing on the right, but his shot was comfortably saved at the near post.

Substitute List went through in added time but Mafoumbi made a fine save.

Gillingham: Holy, O’Neill (List 76mins), Ehmer, Zakuani, Hanlan, Eaves, Charles-Cook (Parrett 76mins), Fuller, Oldaker, Byrne, Ogilvie (Parker 88mins). Subs not used: Hadler, Nasseri, Simpson, Mbo.

Blackpool: Mafoumbi, Heneghan, Delfouneso, Spearing, Cullen (Pritchard 85mins), Nottingham, Tilt, Taylor (Thompson 60mins), Turton, Guy, Bola. Subs not used: Boney, Dodoo, McLaughlin, O’Sullivan, Feeney.

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