Published: 16:45, 23 November 2019
| Updated: 11:32, 25 November 2019
Gillingham failed to make their superiority count against AFC Wimbledon.
Former Gills midfielder Scott Wagstaff put the Dons ahead in the first half, against the run of play.
Gillingham had a couple of penalty appeals turned down and created numerous chances but left empty-handed, made worse for a late sending off after Ben Pringle confronted the referee.
Mikael Mandron was back in for the Gills, replacing Alex Jakubiak upfront as the only change from the team that started against Sunderland in the week.
There were plenty of familiar faces in the Wimbledon team, with former Gills midfielder Wagstaff captaining a home side that also included Callum Reilly, Luke O’Neill and Joe Pigott.
The Gills went into the match in good form, with just one defeat from seven in all competitions and they had numerous chances to get their noses infront at the Kingsmeadow Stadium.
Brandon Hanlan got plenty of the ball and caused a nuisance of himself, but the Dons defenders got bodies behind the ball, blocking a couple of early efforts from Mandron and a shot from Alfie Jones.
Mandron also headed over before the Dons opened the scoring.
Reilly spread the play from left to right, where he picked out former Maidstone and Dover forward Mitch Pinnock, who in turn fed Wagstaff on the overlap and he finished well into the far corner.
O’Neill did well to get the better of Hanlan when the striker almost got in on goal and the chances continues to come and go for the Gills, the best of the half falling for Mandron, who had an air-kick after the ball dropped to him just a few yards out.
There were penalty appeals for the Gills when Hanlan went down after being challenged by Ryan Delaney. While there may have been contact, Hanlan’s decision to continue with his run before going to ground may have swayed the referee to wave play on.
Delaney had earlier almost put the ball in his own net after winning the ball off Hanlan as he came close to breaking through.
Kevin Johnson, the man in the middle, was confronted by a furious Steve Evans at the break, but the Gills may well have been ahead had they taken some of their numerous chances.
Hanlan came close early in the second half, almost connecting to Mark Byrne’s near post cross.
It was a positive start from the restart for the Gills and they had another penalty shout turned down as Lee was taken down in the box by Pinnock. During the same incident Mandron’s header was blocked on the line by his team-mate Hanlan.
The Gills came under the first bit of sustained pressure around the hour mark, with Jack Bonham doing well to turn Pinnock’s shot over the bar and a cross being deflected onto the bar by Max Sanders.
Hanlan continued to create chances, beating Paul Kalambayi for pace as he ran onto Tom O’Connor’s ball forward, but keeper Trott comfortably dealt with the shot.
Connor Ogilvie headed a corner over for the Gills and Hanlan shot wide when in on goal again, those chances coming either side of a shot from Pigott that went narrowly over.
Substitute Pringle was shown a straight red card in stoppage-time, for his reaction when a decision went against the Gills, as they pressed for an equaliser.
Gillingham: Bonham, Fuller (Pringle 87mins), Ogilvie, Tucker, Ehmer, Jones, O’Keefe (O’Connor 30mins), Byrne, Lee (Marshall 80mins), Hanlan, Mandron. Subs not used: Walsh, Jakubiak, Ndjoli, Charles-Cook.
Wimbledon: Trott, O’Neill, Wagstaff, Pinnock, Forss (Appiah 58mins), Delaney, Sanders, Kalambayi, Reilly, Osew, Pigott (Guinness-Walker 87mins). Subs not used: McDonnell, Thomas, Hartigan, Rudoni, McLoughlin.
Attendance: 4,554 (645 away)
More by this authorLuke Cawdell
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