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Gillingham 2 Portsmouth 0 - League 1 match report

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham completed the league double over table toppers Portsmouth on Boxing Day.

Josh Parker headed the Gills infront against the run of play just before the break.

Callum Reilly celebrates scoring for Gillingham from the penalty spot Picture: Ady Kerry (6206644)
Callum Reilly celebrates scoring for Gillingham from the penalty spot Picture: Ady Kerry (6206644)

The Gills wrapped up the points when Callum Reilly fired home from the penalty spot in injury time, claiming a second win over Pompey after also beating them 2-0 at Fratton Park in October.

The Gills had picked up just a point from their previous three home league games and were up against a Portsmouth team flying high in League 1.

Tom Eaves was absent again, with a thigh strain, while boss Steve Lovell made a switch in midfield as Callum Reilly replaced Darren Oldaker in the starting eleven.

As expected, the league leaders had a lot of the ball, but the Gills soaked up the pressure well, restricting Portsmouth to only a couple of clear-cut chances in the opening 45 minutes.

Portsmouth's Jack Whatmough concedes a penalty for fouling Elliott List Picture: Ady Kerry (6206642)
Portsmouth's Jack Whatmough concedes a penalty for fouling Elliott List Picture: Ady Kerry (6206642)

Oli Hawkins shot wide when well positioned and Ben Thompson forced Tomas Holy into action.

Holy also got down well to save from Ronan Curtis. The subsequent corner was headed goalwards by Hawkins but off the line from Barry Fuller.

Gillingham had just one effort on target in the opening half and scored from it. Dean Parrett did well to pick out Elliott List in space and from his cross Parker found the net with a glancing header.

With just a minute remaining of the half, it was an ideal time to score.

Portsmouth were dominant again at the start of the second half with both Hawkins and Jamal Lowe unable to get a vital touch on a dangerous cross infront of the Gills goal.

Gillingham captain Gabriel Zakuani competes with Portsmouth's Jamal Lowe Picture: Ady Kerry (6206640)
Gillingham captain Gabriel Zakuani competes with Portsmouth's Jamal Lowe Picture: Ady Kerry (6206640)

Visiting keeper Craig MacGillivray wasn’t taking any chances on Dean Parrett’s deep free-kick early in the half, an effort that missed everyone may well have been creeping in at the far post.

Gareth Evans put a good chance over for the visitors as the game opened up and Holy also held onto a deflected shot from Curtis. The Gills keeper did well to hold onto a better effort from Evans and then watched as Hawkins headed a great opportunity wide.

Substitute Brett Pitman came close to turning home a cross as the Gills continued to ride their luck.

The visitors were left playing with 10 men for the final 15 minutes after Nathan Thompson limped off injured after they had already used their three subs.

Billy Bingham almost poked home a second for the Gills while a low shot from Pitman was claimed by Holy.

Gillingham sealed the win in stoppage time, Reilly smashing home a 91st minute penalty after Elliott List had been pulled down in the box by Jack Whatmough. There was no way back from that for the visitors.

Gillingham: Holy, Fuller, Ogilvie, Lacey, Zakuani, Reilly, Byrne, Parrett (Bingham 69mins), Parker (Mbo 90mins), List, Hanlan (O’Neill 76mins). Subs not used: Hadler, Garmston, Charles-Cook, Rees.

Portsmouth: MacGillivray, N Thompson, Brown, Clarke, Naylor, Hawkins (Pitman 59mins), Curtis (Wheeler 68mins), Whatmough, B Thompson, Evans, Lowe (Green 68mins). Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Burgess, Close.

Attendance: 6,940 (1,637 away)

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