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Swindon 0 Gillingham 1: Connor Mahoney on target in League 2 match at the County Ground but Cheye Alexander missed a penalty

Gillingham got the better of their old rivals Swindon on Tuesday night and could even afford to miss a penalty.

Connor Mahoney put Gillingham ahead with a shot from the edge of the box and although Cheye Alexander missed from the penalty spot in the second half, one goal was enough to win a match that wasn’t short of chances for both teams.

Connor Mahoney put Gillingham infront against Swindon Town Picture: @Julian_KPI
Connor Mahoney put Gillingham infront against Swindon Town Picture: @Julian_KPI

Gillingham were looking to end a run of four straight away defeats in the league and they did it with three points at the County Ground.

Interim boss Keith Millen made two changes to his team, both in defence, following the home loss to Notts County at the weekend.

Cheye Alexander returned as a more natural choice for right-back ahead of Max Clark, while Max Ehmer was dropped for the returning Shad Ogie, back after a ban.

Former Swindon man Jonny Williams - who scored for the Reds in the last game between the sides at the County Ground which ended 3-3 - was given stick by some home fans every time he got on the ball but it seemed to fire him up. Many in the home end stood to applaud him as he left the field after an hour.

It was Swindon who looked the more confident early on, however, passing the ball around well and with purpose, certainly more adventurous than Gills’ weekend opponents Notts. Their early dominance didn’t last.

Gillingham wasted several opportunities to find Bonne in the box, with crosses from out wide failing to find range, but Mahoney went close to an opener with a run and shot that forced keeper Murphy Mahoney into a save. From the subsequent corner, Gills’ Mahoney tried to beat his namesake direct from the set-piece, but the home stopper was alert to it and tipped the ball over.

Gillingham keeper Jake Turner twice thwarted Jake Young, the second save the better of the two, but inbetween those efforts for Swindon, Millen’s men took the lead.

Mahoney, playing with a bit of confidence after already going close, cut inside and had a pop from the edge of the box, evading George McEachran’s desperate lunge. A deflection wrong-footed the keeper and Gillingham had the lead.

Turner’s save from Young and a glancing header that went just wide from Charlie Austin was as good as it got for Swindon.

Gillingham took a goal lead into the break but it could have been more. A home defender failed to cut out a ball forward and it ran for Bonne, who was in the clear with just the keeper to beat, but as he tried to dink the goalie, a big hand came out to make the save.

As was the case at the weekend, the Gills had conceded plenty of possession, but there wasn’t much in it where it mattered.

The first half was pretty relentless and the second was pretty eventful early on.

Referee Peter Wright waved away Kemp’s vigours appeals for a penalty after he went to ground under pressure from Ethan Coleman, before the Gills went close to a second at the other end.

Alexander’s blockbuster half-volley from 20 yards was tipped over the bar by Mahoney and from the subsequent corner Jayden Clarke wasn’t far off converting.

Jonny Williams was popping the ball around well for Gillingham, enjoying himself at his old ground, as the Gills showed at times that they could play a bit too.

There were some groans heard from the home crowd as the hour-mark approached but many were off their feet almost celebrating when Romeao Hutton swapped passes with Kemp before shooting at goal, denied only by a fine Turner save, tipping the ball past the post.

As time went on, the Gills were soaking up more and more pressure. Young continued to be out of luck infront of goal for Swindon while the visitors, reliant on making something happen on the break, got their chance to add a second from the penalty spot.

Lapslie was tripped in the box by Harrison Minturn but penalty-taker Alexander - playing his first game since international duty for St Lucia - dragged the ball wide from 12 yards.

The Gills went five at the back late on, with Ehmer introduced, in an effort to see out the win.

Substitute Shaun Williams put a good chance wide for the Gills late on and Turner had to save well to deny Kemp from an equaliser. He also blocked a shot from Frazer Blake-Tracey on 90 minutes and watched as Young failed to convert with a header from close-range.

Gillingham: Turner, Alexander, Malone, Masterson, Ogie, Jefferies, Coleman, Mahoney (S Williams 81mins), Clarke (Ehmer 76mins), J Williams (Lapslie 61mins), Bonne (Nichols 81mins). Subs not used: Morris, Clark, Orji.

Swindon: Mahoney, Hutton, Blake-Tracy, McEachran, Young, Khan, Kemp, Godwin-Malife, Shade (Obodo 87mins), Minturn (Clayton 80mins), Austin (Hepburn-Murphy 69mins). Subs not used: Ward, Genesini, Kinsella

Referee: Peter Wright

Attendance: 8,853 (610 away)

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