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Mansfield Town 2 Gillingham 0: Ollie Clarke and Lucas Akins on target as Gills beaten in League 2 clash

Gillingham’s good recent form was ended by Mansfield Town as they were well beaten on Saturday.

Mansfield captain Ollie Clarke put the home side ahead and Lucas Akins doubled their advantage from the penalty spot after Max Ehmer was harshly penalised.

Gillingham - with three wins from their previous four before the weekend - were unchanged from the team which beat Crawley Town in their last outing.

Recently transferred former Mansfield Town players were named to face their old team, Oli Hawkins upfront alongside Tom Nichols - seeing off the pre-match injury doubts - and George Lapslie named on the bench again.

This was Gills’ first visit to Field Mill in 27 years - winning 1-0 that day.

Mansfield’s opener looked on the cards as they were brighter than the Gills from the off and it was a thumping effort from Clarke midway through the half that put them ahead, his shot from just inside the box going in off the post.

It was 2-0 from the penalty spot with 35 minutes gone as Max Ehmer was adjudged to have fouled Akins in the box, referee Thomas Kirk pointing to the spot after the Gills defender had held the striker’s shirt. The Mansfield front-man took the spot-kick and fired past keeper Glenn Morris.

Mansfield were worthy of the lead and the Gills were in danger of conceding a third as the chances kept coming. Alfie Kilgour and Kieran Wallace put efforts wide of the mark.

Late in the half the Gills had a few half chances, as Timothee Dieng headed wide, Alex MacDonald put a shot well over the bar and Hawkins had a header held by home keeper Scott Flinders.

Morris pulled off a superb save to deny Akins early in the second half, tipping his header over the bar.

David Tutonda was riding his luck with the referee, cautioned early on for felling Elliott Hewitt and given a last warning with eight minutes of the second half played after another foul.

Lapslie was introduced against his former club for Alex MacDonald, as part of a triple change from the Gills with Alex O’Brien and Cheye Alexander also on - the latter for Tutonda.

Gillingham had big appeals for a penalty with 20 minutes left as Lapslie went down in the box but Mr Kirk was having none of it. Substitute Lapslie had a great chance to halve the deficit, meeting Dieng’s cross with his head, but goalkeeper Flinders turned the close-range effort over the bar.

It got a bit open late on as the Gills looked to get back into it but Mansfield held out to claim a league double over Harris’ men.

Gillingham: Morris, McKenzie (Wright 88mins), Tutonda (Alexander 56mins), Ehmer, Masterson, Williams (Abrahams 88mins), Dieng, Jefferies (O’Brien 56mins), MacDonald (Lapslie 56mins), Nichols, Hawkins. Sub not used: Turner.

Mansfield: Flinders, Hewitt, Harbottle, Kilgour, Perch, Wallace (Bowery 74mins), Maris (Boateng 85mins), Clarke, Quinn (O’Toole 85mins), Keillor-Dunn (Swan 79mins), Akins. Subs not used: Pym, Law, D Johnson.

Referee: Thomas Kirk

Attendance: 6,937 (631 away)

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