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Back-to-Back League Wins for the Gills

Manager Mark Stimson made two changes from last week’s side that won against Darlington. For the visit of Accrington Stanley, new loan signing Charlie Daniels made his debut on the left side of midfield, meaning Dennis Oli had to go on the right, replacing Tyrone Berry.

Gillingham had the better of the opening exchanges and had a great chance on 9 minutes. Mark McCammon rose above Accrington’s defence and hit a good header on goal, but keeper Kenny Arthur was on hand to save it off the line.

The Gills continued to have the better possession, but didn’t make their next real chance until 22 minutes into the game. After shrugging off the challenge of defender Phil Edwards, Simeon Jackson drove the ball into the box, and smashed a shot near the right post that needed to be pushed out to safety by Arthur. Garry Richards had his header blocked off the line from the resulting corner.

Accrington had their first chance of the game 4 minutes later, when James Ryan’s free-kick rebounded off Barry Fuller and back to the midfielder, who curled a second attempt just wide of the right post.

A minute later Mark McCammon had yet another chance for the Gills, as he headed just over the crossbar following a John Nutter corner.

And  the Barbados international had another great chance just before the interval. The big striker found himself unmarked in the Accrington area, but failed to capitalise as he was quickly denied by the onrushing Kenny Arthur.

Gillingham came out in the second half again the better side, and had their first chance after the break on 50 minutes, when Simeon Jackson was in a position to score, but failed to capitalise as he couldn’t get the ball out from under his feet.

Gary Mulligan then replaced Mark McCammon, and it might’ve seemed that the Irishman could make another instant impact.

Simeon Jackson shrugged off his marker and digged out a shot on target that forced Kenny Arthur into a save to push the ball behind. John Nutter then picked out Mulligan from the resulting corner, and the striker hit a header that flew just wide of the far post.

It now seemed inevitable that Gillingham would score, as the Gills poured forward time and time again in pursuit of that winning goal. On 60 minutes Charlie Daniels far post cross was headed just wide by captain Andrew Crofts, and on 65 minutes Garry Richards headed just over following a corner.

Kenny Arthur was then called to make a dramatic diving save to turn an Andrew Crofts header round the post and out to safety.

But that safety of a clean sheet was about to disappear, as Gillingham finally scored that goal they threatened to do all match.

And it was Dennis Oli who got the goal. The big forward slotted coolly under Kenny Arthur after he collected a cross at the near post from Charlie Daniels.

After taking the lead, Gillingham could’ve doubled it when Gary Mulligan hit a shot just over the crossbar, following good work from Simeon Jackson and Adam Miller to create an opening for the striker on 81 minutes.

Accrington then turned up the heat in the closing stages as they went in pursuit of that equalising goal. But it was not to be for Stanley, as the Gills held on to record back-to-back victories and push up to ninth in the table.

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