Published: 16:45, 09 October 2021
| Updated: 21:42, 09 October 2021
Gillingham conceded twice early on as they were beaten by Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.
Two goals in the opening seven minutes, from Garath McCleary and Gillingham old-boy Brandon Hanlan, put Wycombe in charge and a missed penalty from Vadaine Oliver scuppered hopes of a fightback.
Jack Tucker returned at centre-half for the Gills in place of Rhys Bennett and was up against a familiar face in Hanlan, who started upfront for Wycombe.
It was Tucker’s 100th appearance for the Gills.
Former Gills man Hanlan was booed by the away fans before kick off and whenever he got a touch but it was the 24-year-old striker celebrating early on as he netted Wycombe’s second goal after just seven minutes.
Wycombe had won all four of their home league matches since the start of the season, aiming for a seventh on the spin on Saturday, after victories in their final two games in the Championship last term. A blistering start from them made that more likely.
McCleary had already had a shot saved in the opening seconds before he scored Saturday’s opener inside two minutes. He ran at Tucker, after chasing onto Sam Vokes flick-on, and beat the defender with one touch before then firing home inside the near post.
It got worse for the Gills five minutes later as Wycombe scored a second. Curtis Thompson’s low shot got a ricochet and dropped invitingly for Hanlan to fire home from close range infront of the travelling fans, who responded with chants of “Scally out”.
Hanlan had moved on last summer after rejecting a new contract at Gillingham, firstly moving to Bristol Rovers before ending up at Wycombe after his initial move turned sour.
Wycombe striker Vokes, a big name summer signing who had Premier League appearances for Wolves, Brighton and Burnley on his CV, put a couple of efforts wide for the hosts.
The home side attacked with purpose, always threatening, but it certainly wasn’t one-way traffic. Gillingham reached the break with more shots at goal than the hosts.
And Gillingham had a great chance to get back into the match with half an hour played when captain Kyle Dempsey was fouled just inside the box by Josh Scowen. It took several minutes for the Wycombe man to receive treatment following the challenge and when Oliver finally got to take his spot-kick he blasted it over the bar.
Alex MacDonald’s shot was the closest to beating keeper David Stockdale, the stopper stretching well to turn his shot wide. Danny Lloyd had put another couple of efforts wide for the Gills as they were unable to make chances count.
Gillingham had some more moments at the start of the second half but needed a super save from Cumming to tip over a header from Vokes with just over an hour gone. The on-loan Chelsea keeper denied Thompson moments later and Hanlan forced another save from the Gills no.1, tipping a low shot onto the base of the post.
The Gills picked up another injury as David Tutonda went down in some discomfort before being helped from the field.
Dempsey blasted an effort into the away end towards the end of a second half where the Gills struggled to create any meaningful opportunities. Lloyd had an effort that keeper Stockdale held onto.
Wycombe: Stockdale, Jacobson, Stewart, Tafazolli, Thompson (Wheeler 88mins), McCleary, McCarthy, Scowen, Obita, Hanlan (Mehmeti 84mins), Vokes (Akinfenwa 84mins). Subs not used: Przybek, Grimmer, Gape, Parsons.
Gillingham: Cumming, McKenzie, Tutonda (Bennett 74mins), Ehmer, Tucker, Adshead (O’Keefe 46mins), Lloyd, MacDonald, Dempsey, Akinde, Oliver. Subs not used: Chapman, Kelman, Lee, Reeves, Sithole.
Referee: Kevin Friend
Attendance: 4,992 (413 away)