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Gillingham 3 MK Dons 1: Mikael Mandron, Brandon Hanlan and Max Ehmer on target at fortress Priestfield

Gillingham maintained their impressive home form with victory over MK Dons on Saturday.

Two goals in a three minute period put the Gills incharge at the break as Mikael Mandron and Brandon Hanlan both found the net.

Gillingham players celebrate with goalscorer Max Ehmer after going 3-1 up Picture: Ady Kerry (24847938)
Gillingham players celebrate with goalscorer Max Ehmer after going 3-1 up Picture: Ady Kerry (24847938)

Reaction: It could have been four or five!

Alex Gilbey gave MK hope with an early second half goal but Max Ehmer netted Gills’ third soon after as Steve Evans’ men made it six straight wins at home in all competitions.

Gills boss Evans had threatened to make changes to his team following a below-par performance at Fleetwood last time out, but he stuck with the same XI, giving some players another chance.

Mandron had been one of those who had disappointed the boss but he responded in the best way possible.

Mikael Mandron celebrates his goal against MK Dons Picture: Ady Kerry (24847936)
Mikael Mandron celebrates his goal against MK Dons Picture: Ady Kerry (24847936)

The Gills were snapping at the heels of the MK defenders from the off and Mandron was involved in a great early chance, finding Hanlan who laid the ball off for Olly Lee and his shot towards the far corner was blocked by Dean Lewington.

Gillingham were careless with a couple of early clearances, once MK finally got out of their own half after a bright start from the hosts, but keeper Jack Bonham remained untroubled.

MK keeper Lee Nicholls was the first to be called into action, reaching out to deny Alfie Jones with a shot from inside the box.

It was Mandron who put the Gills ahead on 31 minutes, a deft touch with his head enough to beat keeper Lee Nicholls after Lee had got past Lewington and then floated in a cross for the big striker.

Gillingam vs MK Dons match action Picture: Ady Kerry (24847942)
Gillingam vs MK Dons match action Picture: Ady Kerry (24847942)

The Gills fans were singing “there’s only one Steve Evans” after they added a second goal two minutes later. This time it was all about the power. Mandron found Hanlan and while the MK defender waited for an offside flag that never came, the Gills striker smashed the ball past Nicholls.

MK weren’t rushing their play before the goals and seemed in no rush once they had conceded them either, happy to knock the ball around at the back. Gillingham went into the break comfortably incharge.

The visitors made a double change at the break and they restarted the game with a lot more urgency. They hadn’t had a corner in the opening half but started the second with a flurry of them, three inside the first two minutes, but the Gills defended them well.

That positive start from the visitors was rewarded with a goal on 52 minutes and it was a great bit of skill from Alex Gilbey to create the chance and finish it off, flicking it over Barry Fuller before smashing it past Bonham.

MK Dons fans in the rain at Priestfield Picture: Ady Kerry (24847940)
MK Dons fans in the rain at Priestfield Picture: Ady Kerry (24847940)

Gillingham have twice previously given away two-goal leads in the league this season but fears this would happen again eased when Max Ehmer slammed in a third just five minutes after conceding. Lee’s free-kick was well saved by Nicholls but the ball was parried into the path of the Gills defender and he finished well, netting his first goal in just over a year.

Joe Mason shot wide for MK with 20 minutes left and substitute Sam Nombe cleared the bar with an effort shortly after.

Hanlan got the ball in dangerous areas twice during the closing stages but was unable to add to his tally.

Jack Tucker was on hand to clear late on after Bonham parried a shot into no man’s land and with that chance gone, MK ran out of time to get back into the match.

Max Ehmer slides towards the home fans after making it 3-1 Picture: Ady Kerry (24847944)
Max Ehmer slides towards the home fans after making it 3-1 Picture: Ady Kerry (24847944)

Gillingham: Bonham, Fuller, Ogilvie, Jones, Ehmer, Tucker, O'Keefe, O'Connor (Marshall 89mins), Lee (Charles-Cook 81mins), Hanlan (Jakubiak 90mins), Mandron. Subs: Walsh, Hodson, Ndjoli, Pringle.

MK Dons: Nicholls, Lewington, Walsh, Poole, Gilbey, McGrandles (Reeves 76mins), Houghton, Brittain, Boateng (Bowery 46mins), Mason, Agard (Nombe 46mins). Subs: Moore, Williams, Dickenson, Kasumu.

Attendance: 4,739 (337 away)


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