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Stockport County 0 Gillingham 0: League 2 match report and highlights from Edgeley Park

Gillingham put on a defensive display against Stockport to grab themselves a point from the League 2 match.

Promotion hopefuls Stockport dominated possession but were unable to make it count. Isaac Olaofe hit the crossbar and Kyle Knoyle the upright either side of the break as the Gills frustrated their hosts.

The Gills created little upfront themselves - failing to register a shot on target - but from a match that few gave them hope of winning, they did at least return to Kent with something to show for their efforts.

Manager Neil Harris made four changes for Gillingham’s midweek trip, handing midfielder Ethan Coleman and striker Tristan Abrahams a first start in a surprise move.

While Stockport were looking to get back on track after a couple of indifferent results, the Gills started the evening eight points clear of the bottom two, space enough to ensure the trip north wasn’t critical for their survival hopes.

With just two wins from their previous 17 away league games little was expected from Gills’ midweek trip.

With Will Wright back in the side the Gills switched to a five-man defence and they frustrated the hosts in the opening half.

Gillingham’s only effort of the first 45 minutes was a blocked shot from Tom Nichols.

Stockport struggled to get going and there was little action of note from the opening half hour, before the home side upped the tempo and began the threaten. Moving the play around quicker got them more joy against a Gills side putting bodies behind the ball.

Once Stockport got going they had a flurry of chances. Glenn Morris grabbed the ball off Isaac Oloafe’s toe as he prepared to fire home from close range and got behind a low shot from Jacob Davenport.

Big appeals for a Stockport penalty was waved away by referee Ben Toner after David Tutonda had challenge Kyle Knoyle in the box, winning the ball and rightly getting the decision his way. It was quite a battle between Tutonda and Knoyle down Gills’ left side.

Olaofe - a rumoured transfer target for the Gills before his move north from Millwall - sent a dipping effort onto the top of the crossbar after good play in and around the area.

The Gills had got to the break without conceding, happy with their efforts having concentrated on keeping the hosts out, rather than being an attacking threat themselves.

Stockport made a triple change at the break, starting the second half with a new man upfront as Paddy Madden was given a chance to see if he could open up the Gills defence.

An early glancing header from Madden was comfortably held by Morris and with an hour gone Knoyle’s looping header struck the post.

Gillingham had everyone inside their own box when defending corners as they crowded the hosts out. Will Collar put a shot over from distance as he got fed up trying to play it through a sea of yellow shirts.

Stockport were enjoying 75% of the possession and threatening to break Gills’ resolve. With 15 minutes left Harris turned to his substitutes, making four changes in one hit as George Lapslie, Shaun Williams, Oli Hawkins and Alex MacDonald were all introduced.

Stockport continued on the attack but the 8,000-odd home fans were to be left disappointed, a draw certainly more welcome to the visitors from Kent who are now another point further away from trouble, nine off the bottom two.

Tutonda’s last-ditch challenge denied Jack Stretton and a one-handed save from Morris kept an effort from the same player out with three minutes left.

Stockport: Hinchcliffe, Knoyle, Byrne, Horsfall, Sarcevic (Stretton 77mins), Collar, Rydel (Hippolyte 46mins), Wootton, Olaofe (Madden 46mins), Hussey, Davenport (Croasdale 46mins). Subs not used: Jaros, Wright, Camps.

Gillingham: Morris, Alexander, Tutonda, Wright, Ehmer, Masterson, Jefferies (Lapslie 75mins), Coleman, Dieng (Williams 75mins), Nichols (Hawkins 75mins), Abrahams (MacDonald 75mins). Subs not used: Turner, O’Brien.

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 8,168 (212 away)

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