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Doncaster Rovers 3 Gillingham 3 - League 1 match report

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham conceded a stoppage-time equaliser as they took a point from their game at Doncaster.

The home side had numerous first half chances but a stunning strike from Barry Fuller and a fine finish from Tom Eaves put Gillingham two goals up at the break.

Doncaster pulled a goal back six minutes after the restart through former Gills man John Marquis and Mallik Wilks equalised but Ehmer fired the visitors back infront with two minutes left. It wasn’t to be the winner though, with Paul Taylor levelling it up again.

Barry Fuller opens the scoring Picture: Ady Kerry (4918329)
Barry Fuller opens the scoring Picture: Ady Kerry (4918329)

Gills boss Steve Lovell made two changes to his starting line-up, handing Bradley Stevenson his first Football League start, in place of injured Dean Parrett, while striker Josh Parker returned from international duty to replace Elliott List upfront.

It was defender Fuller who struck Gills’ opener home from 35 yards, finding the net for the first time in 161 appearances. It was worth the wait. He chested down a clearance and after a bounce he half volleyed past keeper Marko Marosi, narrowly avoiding a collision with an onrushing defender as he took the shot on.

The Gills were to double their lead on 24 minutes, but not before Doncaster had a flurry of attempts to equalise.

Tom Eaves celebrates putting the Gills 2-0 up Picture: Ady Kerry (4918335)
Tom Eaves celebrates putting the Gills 2-0 up Picture: Ady Kerry (4918335)

Marquis went close, Matty Blair headed over, Herbie Kane had a shot blocked, James Coppinger curled wide and Andy Butler’s headed effort was claimed by keeper Tomas Holy.

Gillingham ended the half with just the two efforts at goal, scoring them both. Eaves’ seventh of the season was well taken, picking up a long ball from Gabriel Zakuani before beating his marker and placing the ball past the Doncaster goalie.

The hosts were undeterred but a goal wouldn’t come. Mallik Wilks looked decent with the ball but his finishing was wayward, missing a couple of good chances. Holy held onto another Coppinger shot and then had Zakuani to thank for clearing after he spilled a shot into a crowded area.

Doncaster v Gillingham match action Picture: Ady Kerry (4918347)
Doncaster v Gillingham match action Picture: Ady Kerry (4918347)

Before the break Butler headed wide, with Marquis almost getting a vital touch, Blair fired over and Marquis had a low effort blocked. The home side finished the half with 19 efforts at the Gills goal but nothing to show for their efforts.

The luck ran out early in the second half, with Marquis stabbing the ball home after Gills failed to clear a corner.

Doncaster were looking likely to level and Lovell acted, making a double substitution and reverting to a flat four-man midfield.

Marquis, always looking for an opportunity, almost got another when he closed down Holy’s clearance and saw the ball go just wide.

Doncaster v Gillingham match action Picture: Ady Kerry (4918337)
Doncaster v Gillingham match action Picture: Ady Kerry (4918337)

Doncaster’s continued pressure paid off when they scored again, from another corner. Coppinger put the ball in, Butler headed it towards the back post and when Blair nodded it across the face of goal, Wilks was on hand to head home.

Wilks headed a good chance at Holy as the pressure remained and the Gills keeper did well to hold onto Coppinger’s thunderous effort.

A rare chance for the Gills went begging as Navid Nasseri’s heavy touch wasted a chance on the break with eight minutes left.

Max Ehmer put the Gills back infront but it wasn't to be the winner Picture: Ady Kerry (4918327)
Max Ehmer put the Gills back infront but it wasn't to be the winner Picture: Ady Kerry (4918327)

The Gills thought they had won it, when Max Ehmer blasted into the top corner after picking up a Callum Reilly corner at the far post, but it was all-square in stoppage-time as substitute Taylor fired home, with the aid of a deflection, off Ehmer.

Doncaster: Marosi, Mason, Andrew, Butler, Wilks, Whiteman, T Anderson, Kane (Crawford 52mins), Blair (J Anderson 69mins), Coppinger (Taylor 84mins), Marquis. Subs not used: Lawlor, Beestin, May, Horton.

Gillingham: Holy, O'Neill (Nasseri 74mins), Fuller, Ehmer, Zakuani, Lacey (Bingham 56mins), Byrne, Reilly, Stevenson (Ogilvie 56mins), Parker, Eaves. Subs not used: Hadler, Garmston, List, Rees.

Attendance: 6,891 (237 away)

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