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AFC Wimbledon 2 Gillingham 0 – League 1 match report

First-half mistakes proved costly for Gillingham at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

Dom Poleon fired the home side in front after a sloppy back-pass from Rory Donnelly and Dean Parrett doubled the lead from the penalty spot.

Gillingham improved after the break but there was no comeback this time.

Emmanuel Osadebe chased by AFC Wimbledon's Dannie Bulman Picture: Ady Kerry
Emmanuel Osadebe chased by AFC Wimbledon's Dannie Bulman Picture: Ady Kerry

Donnelly’s day ended with a sending off after gesturing to the home fans with three minutes left.

Injuries led to another reshuffle for the Gills, with Tuesday night’s goal hero Scott Wagstaff missing with a knock.

Paul Konchesky returned to the side as the one change to the XI, back in his familiar position at the left of defence. Boss Justin Edinburgh stuck to wing-backs, with Emmanuel Osadebe operating on the right flank.

With Cody McDonald out injured there was room for teenage academy player Bradley Stevenson on the bench.

Gillingham had ended their midweek game against Chesterfield well but once again turned in a poor first-half showing. They were two goals down at the break and both were gifts.

The visitors looked to be handling big striker Tom Elliott, while former Gill Andy Barcham was busy on the wing but largely ineffective, but they conceded on 18 minutes with a soft goal, coming from a Donnelly back-pass.

Donnelly was on for Bradley Dack, who limped off after just 12 minutes. His back-pass was rolled straight into the path of Poleon, who rounded Stuart Nelson before firing home for the 19th-minute opener.

A second back-pass, this time from Deji Oshilaja, almost cost the Gills again midway through the half but Nelson managed to get out quickly enough to deny Elliott, taking a whack in the process.

Home keeper James Shea has two shots to save in the opening half, comfortably dealing with efforts from Donnelly and Konchesky.

Just before the break the hosts doubled the lead. Josh Pask was adjudged to have fouled Paul Robinson in the box as a corner came in. Parrett scored from the spot in added-on time.

A change at the break saw Elliott List take over from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas up front and the Gills opened the half well, with Mark Byrne shooting wide early on. Midfielder Byrne put another chance well over.

Jake Reeves poked a chance wide for Wimbledon before Elliott headed over from a Barcham cross but the Gills had the majority of the possession after the restart.

List was a threat again for Gills, with his pace drawing a foul on the edge of the box. Donnelly bent the free-kick narrowly wide and Knott was also off-target after Osadebe picked his run out.

The Gills switched to 4-4-2 for the final 20 minutes but the goals never came and Donnelly was sent off with three minutes left. He stuck a finger up to the home fans and referee Darren England produced the red card.

Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Meades (Kelly 82mins), Robinson, Charles, Beere (Bulman 71mins), Reeves, Barcham, Parrett, Elliott, Poleon (Taylor 65mins). Subs not used: McDonnell, Whelpdale, Barnett, Robertson.

Gillingham: Nelson, Osadebe, Konchesky, Ehmer, Pask, Oshilaja, Oldaker, Byrne, Knott, Emmanuel-Thomas (List 46mins), Dack (Donnelly 12mins). Subs not used: Hadler, Hessenthaler, Dickenson, Wright, Stevenson.

Attendance: 4,653 (801 away)

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