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Gillingham 0 Doncaster Rovers 0 - League 1 match report

Gillingham ended a run of three straight defeats with a goalless draw at home to Doncaster.

Both sides struggled to create many chances at goal, resulting in stalemate at Priestfield.

Conor Wilkinson shoots at goal (1413340)
Conor Wilkinson shoots at goal (1413340)

Striker Rhys Murphy was named in Gills’ starting XI for the first time, making his debut over two months after joining as a free agent, but he was replaced at the break.

Conor Wilkinson was recalled to the team, to partner Murphy upfront, as Tom Eaves found himself back on the bench.

Gillingham were looking to end a run of three straight defeats and bounce back from a 4-0 drubbing at Southend last time out.

Boss Steve Lovell had spoken in his programme notes about the need to claim one more win to assure their safety in League 1.

Scott Wagstaff in action against Doncaster (1413338)
Scott Wagstaff in action against Doncaster (1413338)

The Gills found themselves on the backfoot early on, however, as former player John Marquis looked to create something for the visitors. He put an effort wide and had a dangerous cross that almost found James Coppinger.

With less than half an hour gone Gills boss Steve Lovell switched formation, abandoning his wingback set-up and matching their visitors with a 4-4-2 diamond system, which saw Max Ehmer moving up into midfield.

Gillingham still struggled to create anything meaningful. Doncaster’s Niall Mason drilled a low shot at Tomas Holy and Alfie Beestin wasted a good chance, firing over.

Eaves was introduced at the break along with midfielder Frank Moussa, replacing Murphy and Navid Nasseri.

Gillingham started the second half with more urgency but Rowe came close for Doncaster, flashing a low shot wide from 20 yards. The Gills were unable to make their superior possession count.

Lovell went for something different with 20 minutes left as Elliott List replaced Wilkinson as Eaves’ strike partner. The home side still struggled for opportunities as the game drifted towards its conclusion.

Substitute Alfie May, the former Hythe Town player, could have won it in stoppage time but failed to convert a low cross, wasting the chance with a poor touch.

Gillingham: Holy, Ehmer, Zakuani, Nugent, Wagstaff, Garmston, Byrne, Hessenthaler, Nasseri (Moussa 46mins), Wilkinson (List 73mins), Murphy (Eaves 46mins). Subs not used: Hadler, Lacey, Ogilvie, Reilly.

Doncaster: Marosi, Whiteman, Mason, Wright, Baudry, McCullough (Butler 83mins), Blair (Kongolo 80mins), Rowe, Coppinger, Marquis, Beestin (May 73mins). Subs not used: Lawlor, Williams, Boyle, Khemis.

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