Vincent-Young goal wins it as Town go back to top
Kane Vincent-Young’s first goal for Town took Blues back to the top of League One.
The recent signing from Colchester got on the end of a terrific cross from Kayden Jackson to bury his header in the net just past the half hour.
Alan Judge hit the post for Blues and Jon Nolan also went close while Luke Chambers denied Gillingham an equaliser late on as Paul Lambert’s side equalled a Club record of five consecutive league clean sheets.
James Norwood dropped to the bench with slight concerns over his groin, Luke Woolfenden returning to the starting line up with Andre Dozzell also handed a place in the XI.
Tomas Holy was given a warm welcome back by the fans of his former club as he made his first return to Priestfield following his summer move to Town.
Judge sent in a terrific ball that found Jackson free as Blues started on the front foot but he couldn’t touch it past the on-rushing Jack Bonham who did enough to clear the danger, Olly Lee failing to make good contact on the ball on the edge of the box as the hosts responded.
James Wilson flashed a header just wide of the post from a corner, Judge then went down having looked to have been clipped inside the box but referee Christopher Sarginson was having none of it.
Bonham saved comfortably from Edwards, Wilson sent another header just wide of the far post, Gills rallying with Tom O’Connor having the home fans up in celebration for a moment with long range volley but the ball landed on the roof of the net.
The Kent side enjoyed a spell of pressure around the Town goal, with Max Ehmer inches away from converting from close range but it was Blues who struck just past the half hour, Jackson’s great cross headed in by Vincent-Young at the far post.
Dozzell couldn’t get his shot in after Judge and Jackson linked up well as Town eased to the break a goal to the good.
Nolan replaced Flynn Downes at the break, Lee Hodson on for O’Connor soon after the restart, with Dozzell immediately in the action, cutting into the Gills box but his cross was cleared.
Former Town loanee Ben Pringle became Gills’ second change, Jack Tucker making way but it was Blues who pressed for a second and a lovely ball from Nolan set up Judge who forced a corner, Ehmer clearing for the home side.
Holy held firm from Byrne’s 30 yarder, Brandon Hanlan sending a header wide from a corner, then Holy in action again to deny Byrne getting in as Gillingham threatened.
It needed a brilliant intervention from Luke Chambers to deflect Alex Jakubiak’s strike, taking the ball over the bar when the equaliser looked on but seconds later Blues were a coat of paint away from a second, Judge’s first time effort cannoning back off the inside of the post after excellent work from Vincent-Young.
Emyr Huws replaced Dozzell in Town’s second change, Nolan testing Bonham with a drive before Steve Evans played his final card with Mikael Mandron on for Jakubiak.
Town made a final change with Norwood on for Jackson for the closing stages, Chambers failing to get good connection as he tried to hook the ball goalwards from Skuse’s header as Blues looked to seal the points.
A second goal didn’t come for Town but the three points did and that top of the table spot.
Gillingham: Bonham, O’Keefe, Ehmer, Ogilvie, Hanlan, Fuller, Byrne, Lee, Jakubiak (Mandron 69), O’Connor (Hodson 48), Tucker (Pringle 52). Subs not used: Walsh, Ndjoli, Charles-Cook, Cisse. Booked: Byrne.
Town: Holy, Vincent-Young, Chambers, Woolfenden, Wilson, Edwards, Skuse, Judge, Dozzell (Huws 66), Downes (Nolan 46), Jackson (Norwood 76). Subs not used: Norris, Garbutt, Keane, Georgiou. Booked: Wilson, Judge.