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Gillingham 1 Burton Albion 2: Everton loanee Nathan Broadhead strikes twice in comeback win for visitors

Gillingham’s home campaign started with a defeat despite taking an early lead.

Ouss Cisse gave the Gills the advantage at Priestfield, after an error by the Burton keeper, but two goals at the end of the half from Nathan Broadhead turned the game on its head.

Gillingham found no way through Burton’s defence in the second half as the visitors departed with maximum points.

Mark Marshall on the ball for the Gills Picture: Ady Kerry
Mark Marshall on the ball for the Gills Picture: Ady Kerry

There was just the one change for the Gills as Mark Marshall came in for Regan Charles-Cook.

Boss Steve Evans - speaking pre-match of his determination to change Gills poor recent record at home - had been critical of Marshall’s impact off the bench at Doncaster but he got the nod to start at Priestfield on Saturday

It was a free-kick from Marshall that led to Gills’ seventh minute opener, scored by the grateful Cisse, who was on hand to finish after Kieran O’Hara made a hash of claiming the inswinger. He was impeded by the wind and team-mate Colin Daniel.

Burton reacted to that early blow well and were always looking like getting a goal back.

Liam Boyce put a good chance wide for the visitors and keeper Jack Bonham had to make a double save to deny Ryan Edwards, as he tried his luck from the edge of the box, and then Broadhead with the follow-up.

Burton were handed a great chance to level, after referee James Linington pointed to the penalty spot after Scott Fraser went down under pressure from Stuart O’Keefe. Bonham, however, guessed right to deny Lucas Akins.

Burton continued to have the ascendency, despite a couple of flashes from the Gills going forward. Mikael Ndjoli went close with a dipping 20-yard effort that went just over the bar.

Stuart O'Keefe in action for the Gills Picture: Ady Kerry (15048774)
Stuart O'Keefe in action for the Gills Picture: Ady Kerry (15048774)

Burton were level on 42 minutes when Broadhead - on a season-long loan from Everton - beat Bonham with a fine curling effort from the edge of the box.

Two minutes later and the visitors were ahead as Broadhead got to Edwards’ cross first.

Gills boss Steve Evans made a double change at the break with Alex Jakubiak and Mikael Ndjoli both withdrawn at the interval.

There was an acrobatic effort from Brandon Hanlan that flew high and wide for the Gills and a blocked shot from substitute Mandron. It wasn’t long before Evans threw on the third sub with Elliott List making his 100th Gillingham appearance with 55 minutes played.

Hanlan and Mandron were playing upfront in a change of formation, with the Gills playing 4-4-2 in the second half. List and Marshall were looking to provide from out wide.

Mark Byrne also had an effort blocked by Kieran Wallace while at the other end Boyce headed just over from a free-kick. It needed an intervention from Fuller, soon after, to deny John Brayford from having a strike at goal.

Burton’s defensive resolve continued to frustrate the Gills. Lee Hodson did get an opportunity at goal but O’Hara saved well.

Boyce dragged a shot just wide for Burton just after Bonham had held onto a Broadhead shot, having seen the striker skip past two Gillingham challenges.

Byrne almost got Gills level with a lobbed effort, after Marshall’s free-kick had been punched clear, but it dropped wide of the post.

Gillingham: Bonham, Hodson, Fuller, Jones, Ehmer, Cisse (List 55mins), O’Keefe, Ndjoli (Byrne 46mins), Marshall, Jakubiak (Mandron 46mins), Hanlan. Subs not used: Walsh, Ogilvie, Charles-Cook, Woods.

Burton: O’Hara, Brayford, Daniel, Edwards, Buxton, Wallace, Fraser, Broadhead (Hutchinson 86mins), Akins, O’Toole, Boyce. Subs not used: Bywater, Sbarra, Sarkic, Nartey, Anderson, Beardsley.

Attendance: 4,682 (95 away)

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