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Match Reports

Match Report | Gillingham 2 Crewe 1

21 March 2023

Match Reports

Match Report | Gillingham 2 Crewe 1

21 March 2023

  • Railwaymen suffer third straight defeat on road
  • Ainley stunner made it 1-1 just after the hour
  • Crewe remain 18th in League Two table

Crewe Alexandra went down fighting at Gillingham on Tuesday.

After Tom Nichols gave the home side the league, the Alex responded well and levelled through a Callum Ainley stunner.

But Aidan O’Brien grabbed a winner for Gillingham, as Elliott Nevitt and Matus Holicek went close to equalising at the death.

It was tough on Lee Bell’s side, who were short of numbers, and they were the better side for large parts of the evening.

But the defeat means they stay 18th in League Two.

With three players missing due to international duty, and Charlie Colkett joining the injury list, Lee Bell made five changes to the side that lost at Northampton.

Dave Richards, Conor Thomas, Regan Griffiths, David Amoo, and Nevitt, were recalled to the starting line-up. Courtney Baker-Richardson was the senior member of a very youthful subs’ bench.

Scholars Owen Lunt, Ty Webster, and Zak Kempster-Down were named on the bench for the first time in a league fixture.

With Rod McDonald also unavailable through injury, Thomas lined up alongside skipper Luke Offord in the heart of defence, as Crewe started in a 4-2-3-1 shape.

Joel Tabiner fired over from range early on, and Rio Adebisi screwed one wide after Crewe’s first corner caused the home side problems.

Neither keeper had much to do in the first half, but it was Crewe on top for the most part.

Dan Agyei cut inside and shot wide on 44 minutes, but the half ended goalless.

Robbie McKenzie raced forward but blazed wide early in the second half, and on 56 minutes it was 1-0 to Gillingham.

They won possession high up the pitch, and Alex MacDonald crossed foer Nichols to steer home from close range.

Adebisi’s cross-shot bounced off the top of the bar as Crewe looked to respond, and it was 1-1 on 62 minutes.

The Alex kept the pressure on and when the ball fell to Ainley he smashed a stunner into the top corner from an angle.

The Gills hit the front on 71 minutes when sub O’Brien arrived on the end of a cross and found the net despite the best efforts of Richards.

George Lapslie saw a close-range header well saved by Richards, and also held a strike from O’Brien, as space opened up in the final 10.

Gillingham manager Neil Harris was shown a red card for complaining when Ollie Hawkins had a goal chalked off for a foul.

In stoppage time, Nevitt saw a shot blocked and sub Holicek was denied by a point-blank save from Glen Morris, as the visitors ran out of time.

Gillingham (4-4-2): Morris; Alexander (Tutonda, 90), Ehmer, Masterson, McKenzie; Williams, Jeffries (O’Brien, 67), McDonald (Wright, 90), Dieng (Lapslie, 67); Hawkins, Nichols (Coleman, 77).

Subs not used: Holtam, Abrahams.

Booked: MacDonald, Ehmer.

Crewe (4-3-3-1): Richards; Offord, Adebisi, Thomas, Mellor; Griffiths, Tabiner; Agyei, Ainley (Holicek, 84), Amoo (Baker-Richardson, 68); Nevitt.

Subs not used: Lawton, Lunt,

Booked: Offord, Robertson, Finnigan.

Referee: James Oldham.

Attendance: 5,796 (72)



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