Gills Return To Winning Ways
Gillingham returned to winning ways, dominating play on a baking hot afternoon at Merley Cobham Sports.
Gillingham had the better of the early exchanges, keeping possession well, however struggling to breakdown the resolute Merley defence. It took until the 30th minute when some good work down the left hand side saw the ball whipped into the area, with Elliot Bevis reacting quickest to sweep the ball home. Neither side could add to the goal tally before half-time.
Merley started the second half brightly and were rewarded when a long throw was headed home for an equaliser. Gillingham responded almost immediately, again through Bevis, who was picked out well by Ryan Schouten to coolly finish to restore the lead. Merley added to their woes as a sin-bin offence quickly turned into a red card, forcing them to play the remaining 20 minutes with ten men in the sapping heat. Gillingham controlled the remainder of the game and put the game beyond Merley as Elliot Pearce-Eavis added a third goal, finishing neatly from a corner.
Merley threw caution to the wind for the remainder of the game – pushing men forward to try and salvage something from the game, but were unable to beat the Gillingham defence. In the conditions both teams deserved credit, but ultimately Gillingham were too strong, however being reduced to ten men in such conditions didn’t help the Merley cause.
Man of the Match: Elliot Pearce-Eavis