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Swindon Town 3 Gillingham 1 – League 1 match report

Gillingham were left hovering just above the League 1 drop zone after losing Tuesday night’s relegation battle.

Cody McDonald’s early effort put the Gills in front at the County Ground but they couldn’t hold on.

Goalkeeper Stuart Nelson pulled off a string of saves to keep the lead intact until half-time but quickfire goals from Rohan Ince and John Obika put Swindon ahead.

Frustration for Stuart Nelson after Swindon go 2-1 ahead on Tuesday Picture: Ady Kerry
Frustration for Stuart Nelson after Swindon go 2-1 ahead on Tuesday Picture: Ady Kerry

Raphael Rossi-Branco made it 3-1 as the Gills were left just three points off the bottom four.

Reaction: it was the same old stuff, says Gills coach

Head coach Ady Pennock started with the same XI that finished their game at the weekend – a 2-1 win over Southend - as injured Rory Donnelly was replaced by weekend substitute Josh Parker.

Paul Konchesky, rumoured to be leaving the club imminently, was again overlooked with the youth team left-back Aaron Simpson a new face on the bench. Pennock’s five injury doubts all failed to make the game.

Both teams won at the weekend and were looking to start a run to get themselves out of relegation trouble.

Swindon began the match positively but it was the Gills who got their noses in front, with McDonald making the most of hesitancy at the back from defender Rossi-Branco, robbing him of the ball before stroking it home past keeper Lawrence Vigouroux.

From that point on Swindon bossed the half but could find no way past Nelson.

Ben Gladwin had two close-range efforts saved and Nelson was also behind a shot from Nicky Ajose after he found space in the box.

Swindon’s final ball was letting them down but they remained a threat until the half-time whistle. Ryan Jackson had to hack the ball clear from under the nose of Obika after Nelson pulled off another good save.

Josh Parker battles it out with Swindon's Nathan Thompson Picture: Ady Kerry
Josh Parker battles it out with Swindon's Nathan Thompson Picture: Ady Kerry

McDonald had Gillingham’s only other chance of the half, heading straight at Vigouroux from Scott Wagstaff’s cross. A fizzing effort from Ajose that went narrowly wide was the last bit of action.

Swindon carried on where they left off in the second half, with James Brophy cutting in on his left foot. Nelson got behind the low shot to make another save.

The home side finally levelled in the 56th minute as Charlie Colkett’s corner caused mayhem in the box and Ince was on hand to force the ball over the line.

Five minutes later Obika fired home to put Swindon ahead after Ajose’s ball forward had left the Gills defence badly exposed. Nelson was called upon to save from sub John Goddard, who found himself unmarked in the area.

Branco headed in for 3-1 in the 75th minute from a Colkett corner.

A great save from Vigouroux kept out Elliott List’s header late on and a powerful effort from Max Ehmer went just over.

Swindon: Vigouroux, Barry, Thompson, Rossi-Branco, Ormonde-Ottewill, Brophy (Goddard 58mins), Ince, Colkett (Rodgers 83mins), Gladwin, Obika (Obika 76mins), Ajose. Subs not used: Henry, Conroy, Thomas, Stewart.

Gillingham: Nelson, Jackson, Ehmer, Rehman, Wagstaff, Osadebe (Hessenthaler 71mins), Wright, Martin (List 65mins), McDonald, Quigley (Muldoon 65mins), Parker. Subs not used: Holy, Dickenson, Simpson, Mbo.

Attendance: 6,133

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