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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

07 April 2023 Venue MEMS Priestfield Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Gillingham v Rovers

6 April 2023

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Match Reports

REPORT | Gillingham 1 Rovers 0

7 April 2023

Spirited Rovers were edged out in a narrow 1-0 Good Friday defeat at Gillingham.

Tom Nichols struck two minutes before the break to send the hosts on their way to an eighth win from nine on home soil and frustrate Rovers, who were more than worthy of taking at least a point on the long trip home.

The youthful Rovers side showed the battling qualities that head coach Danny Schofield has been demanding in recent weeks while a more pragmatic approach to the game ensured they held their own in the physical stakes.

Schofield made five changes from the side that started the clash with Crewe Alexandra the previous weekend. Striker Jack Goodman was handed his first ever league start following his impressive performance off the bench against Crewe while Adam Long, Aidan Barlow, Zain Westbrooke and Aidan Barlow also came into the team.

Gillingham started the stronger and had Rovers on the back foot for the opening ten minutes. Striker Tom Nichols found space from a corner but sent his header over the bar while Aiden O’Brien fired wide from the edge of the box.

Charlie Seaman almost headed into his own goal as he met a long throw before Oli Hawkins sent an Alex MacDonald cross over the bar as Gillingham continued to push.

But Rovers began to find their feet and Ben Close capped a good move by drawing a smart save from Gills keeper Glenn Morris with a low drive from the edge of the box.

Timothee Dieng dragged a shot wide for Gillingham midway through the half before Ben Nelson was agonisingly close to giving Rovers the lead when his header was pushed up onto the underside of the bar by a home defender.

With Rovers in the ascendency, they suffered the blow of falling behind before the break.

A long throw was flicked on and dropped for the unmarked Nichols, who swiped home a volley from the edge of the six yard box.

The hosts were happy to soak up Rovers pressure after the break and looking to break forward quickly.

The final ball frustrated Schofield’s side on numerous occasions, with players in possession spotting runs but unable to play the killer pass.

But they grew more threatening as the half progressed, and Close forced another good save from Morris as he ran onto the ball 25 yards out.

Jonathan Mitchell needed to be alert at the other end, snuffing out danger from loose balls, with substitute George Lapslie going close on a couple of occasions following his introduction.

Luke Molyneux, operating from the wing back position, cut inside and lashed a rising effort over the bar from the corner of the box.

Kieran Agard - off the bench for Goodman - was played in behind the Gillingham defence but lashed a shot wide from a tight angle.

And another substitute, Kyle Hurst, drilled wide after being played into the box, with Rovers ultimately frustrated in their attempts to draw level.

Gillingham: Morris, Alexander, Ehmer, Masterson (Wright 45), McKenzie, MacDonald (Jeeffries 76), Williams, Dieng, O’Brien (Lapslie 76), Nichols (Abrahams 90), Hawkins (Page 90). Subs not used: Holtham, Coleman.

Rovers: Mitchell, Faulkner, Nelson, Long, Seaman (Brown 66), Close, Rowe (Ravenhill 66), Molyneux, Westbrooke (Hurst 90), Barlow, Goodman (Agard 66). Subs not used: Bottomley, Miller, Degruchy.

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