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ROVERS DEFEATED AT PRIESTFIELD

14 April 2017

Gillingham F.C 3-1 Bristol Rovers

A late brace from Cody McDonald cancelled out Billy Bodin's second-half equaliser as Rovers fall to defeat at Priestfield. 

Heading into the game Rovers boss Darrell Clarke made just the one change to the side that defeated AFC Wimbledon last week, with Daniel Leadbitter replaced by Lee Mansell.

The game was ten minutes old when Rovers registered their first chance on goal, with a neat piece of trickery from Billy Bodin opening up an opportunity to direct a shot on target from twenty-five yards out, but the winger's effort was easily gathered by Gills 'keeper Tomas Holy. 

Chances were few and far between inside the opening half-hour, with Ellis Harrison coming closest to testing the Gillingham goal with a powerful right-footed volley that rose over the crossbar. 

The hosts created a threatening chance in the closing stages of the opening forty-five minutes, with Josh Wright coming close to breaking the deadlock with a shot that flashed past the post from sixteen yards out.

At the half-time break Luke James was introduced, with Ellis Harrison making way, in what was a straight swap up front for Rovers.

The first five minutes of the second-half were lively, with Josh Wright carving out a good opportunity for Gillingham, but from the fringes of the Rovers area, the striker sent his effort wide of the target.

Moments later Billy Bodin was in the right place to benefit from a long-ball forward, but with just the 'keeper to beat the winger directed his effort narrowly wide of the post.

The hosts took the lead midway through the second half when a long throw into the area wasn't dealt with by the Rovers defence and the ball dropped kindly for Josh Wright to power home from close-range to put Gillingham ahead.

The goal sparked Rovers into life and they were awarded a penalty when Tom Lockyer was bundled down by Oshilaja inside the area, with the referee taking no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Billy Bodin held his nerve and calmly dispatched the spot-kick to bring the scores level with just fifteen minutes left to go.

Rovers committed men forward in search of a late winner, but it was Gillingham who scored late, as Cody McDonald latched onto a long-ball forward from goalkeeper Thomas Holy and managed to connect with a right-footed finish that squeezed into the top corner and out of reach of the diving Joe Lumley.

McDonald gave Gillingham a two-goal cushion in similar circumstances moments later, as the forward timed a run to stay onside and was able to lift his finish over the advancing Joe Lumley in stoppage time.

Next up for Rovers is the visit of Oldham Athletic to the Mem on Monday.


Gillingham: Thomas Holy (G), Ryan Jackson, Max Ehmer (C), Deji Oshilaja, Jake Hessenthaler, Cody McDonald, Lee Martin, Joe Quigley (65' Rory Donnelly), Mark Byrne (83 ' Emanuel Osadebe), Harry Cornick (65' Josh Parker), Josh Wright.

Subs: Stuart Nelson (C), Chris Herd, Rory Donnelly, Emanuel Osadebe, Josh Parker, Elliot List, Ollie Muldoon

Rovers: Joe Lumley (G), Lee Brown, Tom Lockyer (C), Ryan Sweeney, Jake Clarke-Salter, Lee Mansell (68' Cristian Montano), Chris Lines, Stuart Sinclair, Byron Moore (59' Jermaine Easter), Billy Bodin, Ellis Harrison (45' Luke James).

Subs: Steve Mildenhall (G), Jonny Burn, Joe Partington, Cristian Montano, Luke James, Robert Harris, Jermaine Easter.

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