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Shrewsbury Town 1 Gillingham 1 – League 1 match report

A late strike from Mark Byrne rescued a point for the Gills at promotion-chasing Shrewsbury.

Abu Ogogo’s goal gave the home side a goal advantage at the break but Gillingham were better after the turnaround.

A deserved equaliser was scored by Byrne with nine minutes left, finding the far corner with a cracking hit, and he capped a great display with a crucial goal-line clearance with a minute left.

Gillingham boss Steve Lovell hinted at changes for the game against the League 1 high-flyers but opted to stick with the same eleven.

Lee Martin was back in the squad, after a foot injury left him sidelined at the weekend, but he had to make do with a place on the bench from the off.

Shrewsbury were knocked off the top of League 1 on the Monday, by Blackburn, and they went into Tuesday’s game having lost their last two at home. They were after a win to end that win and take them back to the summit.

Tom Eaves watched closely by Omar Beckles Picture: Ady Kerry
Tom Eaves watched closely by Omar Beckles Picture: Ady Kerry

The hosts had the edge early on and took a deserved lead, Ogogo poking the ball home after Shaun Whalley had burst into Gills’ box and pulled the ball back for the midfielder to finish.

Gillingham looked more of a threat as the half progressed but Shrewsbury’s hard work off the ball meant it wasn’t easy for the visitors.

Tom Eaves, who had two loan spells with Shrewsbury, scoring eight goals from 30 league starts, had Gills’ only effort of the half, but his poke at goal went well wide from Callum Reilly’s cross.

Max Ehmer looks to clear for the Gills, under pressure from Nathan Thomas Picture: Ady Kerry
Max Ehmer looks to clear for the Gills, under pressure from Nathan Thomas Picture: Ady Kerry

Shrewsbury had edged the half but Ogogo’s goal represented their only shot on target in the first 45.

There were no changes for the Gills at the break but they did start the second half brightly, winning a couple of early free-kicks, the second of which was headed over by Zakuani. Connor Ogilvie had also tried his luck from distance but the shot lacked power.

Josh Parker fired wide and the Gills kept threatening, Jake Hessenthaler with a shot that lacked power and better one from Max Ehmer that was deflected the wrong side of the post.

Ben Nugent fighting to keep possession for the Gills Picture: Ady Kerry
Ben Nugent fighting to keep possession for the Gills Picture: Ady Kerry

Reilly also fired an effort into the keeper’s arms after the hosts failed to deal with a corner.

The Gills failed to make the chances count and were almost caught out from a corner, needing a fine save from Tomas Holy to prevent James Bolton from heading home.

Eaves fired narrowly wide for the visitors and he was replaced by Conor Wilkinson for the last 15 minutes.

Gillingham levelled when Ehmer found Byrne in the box, after Shrewsbury failed to clear a throw in and his rising shot, across goal, found the far corner.

Both teams were looking for a winner and Ogogo nearly for it for Shrewsbury on 89 minutes but his powerful effort was blocked by goalscorer Brne.

Shrewsbury: Henderson, Bolton, Nsiala, Beckles, Godfrey, Whalley, Ogogo, Lowe, Hendrie, Morris, Thomas (Payne 63mins). Subs not used: MacGillivary, Riley, Sadler, John-Lewis, Jones, Rodman.

Gillingham:Holy, O’Neill, Ogilvie, Nugent, Zakuani, Ehmer, Byrne, Hessenthaler, Reilly (Martin 69mins), Parker, Eaves (Wilkinson 75mins). Subs not used: Hadler, Garmston, Moussa, Wagstaff, List.

Attendance: 4,839 (162 away)

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