TOWN GO DOWN NARROWLY TO GILLS
FAVERSHAM Town kicked off their pre-season with a narrow defeat to League One Gillingham in front of a packed Shepherd Neame Stadium.
Town hit the bar and had several opportunities to score as they went toe to toe with the League One outfit.
But it was a memorable evening as 1,214 watched the prestige friendly marking the opening of the club's new changing room pavilion.
A minute's applause was well observed by both sets of fans before kick-off in tribute to six-year-old football fan Bradley Lowery, who passed away earlier in the day.
And while the visitors had much of the possession when the game got underway, Town's newly-expanded Bostik League South squad were always in the game and could easily have ended with a draw.
Early on, Sam Bewick forced Tomas Holy into a spectacular save before drilling a free-kick onto the underside of the bar, the ball nearly bouncing over the line Gills scrambled to clear it.
The visitors - who had already headed several good chances over the bar - went ahead on 22 minutes as Tom Eaves drilled a cross past returning keeper Simon Overland, who was back in action again moments later to pull off a fine reaction save.
Gillingham fielded an entire new team in the second half as they gave their whole squad a workout.
They nearly doubled their lead as Dan Carrington headed against his own bar.
And Overland was called into action again to tip a thundered drive from Jake Hessenthaler over the bar.
But down the other end, it was Town who finished stronger as Bradley Garmston bundled the ball off the line.
And in the dying moments, ex-Gills striker Sam Lawford found himself one on one against Stuart Nelson after a defensive error, but could not round the experienced keeper to write a fairytale ending.
However, Town acquitted themselves well against league opposition on a warm, muggy evening.
And their performance will give manager Ray Turner and supporters heart as they prepare for a promotion campaign in the new Bostik League South season.
Faversham Town: Overland, Cooper, Tenyue , Carrington, Bourne, Bewick, Walder, Monger, King, Lovell, Robertson.
Subs: Blaikie, Rogers, Healy, Dawodu, Lawford, Casey, Griffiths, Packman, Lightfoot.
Gills 1st half: Holy, Ehmer, Zakuani, Trialist, Byrne, Trialist, Wagstaff, Martin, Cundle, Trialist, Eaves.
Gills 2nd half: Nelson, O'Mara, Lacey, Tucker, O'Neill, Garmston, Hessenthaler, Wright, List, Trialist, Parker.
Unused Subs: Hadler, Simpson, Chapman, Oldaker, Mbo.