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Shrewsbury 2 Gillingham 3 – League 1 match report


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Gillingham came from two goals down to beat Shrewsbury on Saturday.

Max Ehmer’s deflected last-gasp strike won it after Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’ double had got the Gills back level.

Shrewsbury had been leading 2-0 at the break as Louis Dodds struck twice.

Gillingham defender Max Ehmer celebrates the winner at Shrewsbury Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham defender Max Ehmer celebrates the winner at Shrewsbury Picture: Barry Goodwin

Gills boss Justin Edinburgh made just one change to his starting XI, dropping keeper Stuart Nelson to the bench in favour of new signing Jonathan Bond.

Nelson played every minute last season but appeared to have paid the price for a couple of mistakes in the game the previous weekend, despite bouncing back with an impressive performance at Watford.

Loan signing Bond played 14 games in the Championship with Reading last season.

Shrewsbury were captained by Adam El-Abd, who had enjoyed a successful stint on loan with the Gills at the end of last season.

The Gills bossed the opening stages of the match but fell behind when Dodds fired home from 20 yards, taking one touch from an Ivan Toney knock-down, before pulling the trigger and finding the top corner.

Earlier Cody McDonald had been played in by Emmanuel-Thomas but took a touch too many and was eventually dispossessed. Emmanuel-Thomas found the side netting, with a deflected early effort, and from the resulting corner Mark Byrne almost curled the set-piece straight in.

But it was the Gills who once again conceded first, for the fifth time in six games.

Dodds doubled the lead on the half hour mark. Osadebe was beaten by Junior Brown and his cut-back found the Shrewsbury striker. His first shot was cleared by Pask but when the ball returned to his feet he smashed home for 2-0.

Dodds came close to a third as Gills’ defence opened up, allowing the striker a shot at goal, but debutant keeper Bond saved well. It was his second good save of the half having also turned Toney’s header over the bar.

The Gills lost defender Pask to a back injury with six minutes of the half remaining and it gave Edinburgh the chance to switch from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2, matching the formation of the hosts. Bradley Dack came off the bench.

Gillingham ended the half well but were unable to test keeper Jayson Leutwiler. Josh Wright had a good chance after being picked out on the edge of the box by Billy Knott but the resulting shot flew well over.

An early second half chance fell to McDonald, from a Knott cross, but his header was held comfortably by the home keeper.

Shrewsbury went close to adding a third as a Riley cross almost found an unmarked Toney.

Emmanuel-Thomas halved the deficit for the Gills just before the hour, guiding home a free header off Dack’s cross.

The hosts looked for an immediate response. Dodds shot wide with the aid of a deflection, Ryan McGivern curled an effort out of play and Abu Ogogo launched a shot well over the bar.

A stunning effort from Emmanuel-Thomas drew the Gills level, running at goal before unleashing the ball into the top corner from 25 yards. His double took his tally for the season to five from his seven outings.

Bond had to make a great stoppage-time save to deny AJ Leitch-Smith but there was time for more drama.

From a Dack corner, Emmanuel-Thomas headed the ball down and Ehmer guided the ball home with almost the last kick of the game.

Shrewsbury: Leutwiler, Riley, McGivern, El-Abd, Black (Sarcevic 78mins), Ogogo, Toney, Dodds, Brown, Deegan, Mangan (Leitch-Smith 70mins). Subs not used: Halstead, Lancashire, Choulay, Waring, Jones.

Gillingham: Bond, Osadebe, Konchesky, Ehmer, Oshilaja, Pask (Dack 39mins), Wright, Byrne, Knott (Oldaker 78mins), McDonald (Donnelly 71mins), Emmanuel-Thomas. Subs not used: Nelson, Hessenthaler, List, Dickenson.

Attendance: 4,611 (221 away)

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