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Match Reports


5 February 2022

Three points at Portman Road

Ed Sheeran watched on from the stands as a second-half finish from Conor Chaplin secured Town's third successive victory at home.

In what was a tense affair, Chaplin struck 16 minutes from time to see that the Club's front-of-shirt sponsor and his fellow supporters went home the happier.

Ed Sheeran Gillingham (H) 3.jpg

Kieran McKenna made four changes to his A-team, with Lee Evans returning from injury alongside Tom Carroll, James Norwood and Joe Pigott. 

Tyreeq Bakinson, Idris El Mizouni, Sone Aluko, and Macauley Bonne came out of the starting XI.

The visitors started strongly and had the first effort on goal inside three minutes, with Danny Lloyd's free-kick from 25 yards being palmed around the post by Christian Walton.

Town had been limited to a half-chance from a corner until midway through the half, but Dominic Thompson couldn't direct his effort on target after a low drive from Wes Burns had been pushed into his path by Aaron Chapman.

Dominic Thompson vs Gillingham (H).jpg

McKenna's side enjoyed the lion's share of possession but found themselves frustrated by a stubborn Gills outfit for the remainder of the opening period. 

Gillingham were inches away from opening the scoring four minutes after the break as Vadaine Oliver took a lofted pass on his chest before striking the base of the post from just inside the area.

Wes Burns, who took a knock in a heavy challenge in the first half, limped off the field shortly afterwards with Kyle Edwards coming on in his place.

Wes Burns vs Gillingham (H).jpg

Lloyd went close to breaking the deadlock once again a minute later, his improvised effort seeing the ball, Walton and the post collide in denying the Gills midfielder.

Edmundson, who captained Town with Sam Morsy serving the penultimate match of a four-game suspension, denied Oliver a clean shot at goal with a last-ditch tackle at one end midway through the half, Pigott's pass finding the divide between two defenders but being too heavy for Conor Chaplin to race on to.

The Blues opened the scoring with 16 minutes of normal time remaining. Edmundson's pass through to Chaplin was perfect, and the attacking midfielder did the rest as he drilled a left-footed half-volley past a helpless Chapman.

Sheeran's fellow artist, Olly Murs, was also in attendance and his heart may well have skipped a beat given the narrow margin of victory, but Town avoided any late drama as they professionally saw out eight minutes of additional time.

Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Burns (Edwards 53'), Evans (C), Carroll, Chaplin (Bakinson 85'), Thompson, Norwood, Pigott (Bonne 79').

Subs: Hladky, Burgess, Celina, Jackson.

Gills: Chapman, Tutonda, O'Keefe (C), Ehmer (Phillips 90'), Tucker, Lee, McKenzie, Masterson, Lloyd (Kelman 68'), Oliver, Thompson (Dickson-Peters 79').

Subs: Dahlberg, Jackson, Sithole, Maghoma.

Booked: Tutonda,

Attendance: 20,698 (486 Gills fans).

Ed Sheeran Olly Murs 2.jpg

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