League Two Playoff hopefuls Gillingham overcame Salford City 2-0 in challenging conditions at the Peninsula stadium.

Goals on either side of half-time from Shad Ogie and Tim Dieng put the out-of-sorts Ammies to the sword.

Karl Robinson made 4 changes to the team from the side’s 1-1 draw with Colchester on Tuesday night. Defender Theo Vassel was re-introduced into the starting lineup after serving a suspension in the previous match.

The Kent-based side have enjoyed a good run of form lately, manager Stephen Clemence named an unchanged team looking to build upon an impressive 1-0 win against Wrexham last time out.

Mirroring the weather, The Ammies started brightly but quickly deteriorated as the game wore on.

Connor McAleny went close inside the opening five minutes. Making use of the swamp-like midfield conditions at the Peninsula, the attacker received the ball on the half turn and left destabilised marker Ethan Coleman in his wake, advancing before striking over The Gills bar.

Salford failed to make the most of McAleny driving the side up the pitch in the game’s early stages.

McAleny was a bright spark for Salford in the early stages

At times in the first half, The Ammies were all too pedestrian and seemed to lack the ingenuity to break down a Gillingham defence successfully nullifying the threat of Matt Smith.

Smith was the quieter target man in a tame first half, Salford’s leading marksman failed to make a significant impression on the game and was heavily marked by the Gills’ back line.

Gillingham had a similar threat to Salford in Oliver Hawkins who had much more service than Salford’s number 9 in the game.

The 6’6 striker twice went close in quick succession, first, turning a wide of the target then heading Max Clark’s cross over the bar from close range.

Salford’s visitors worked their way into the game in the first period and were good value for their breakthrough on 41 minutes.

Despite being a centre-back by trade, Ogie often looked to pick up the ball from deep and drive forward to create openings.

Although Ogie at times played in an uncharacteristically attacking way, he made the breakthrough with a classical centre-back’s header re-directing Ethan Coleman’s Coleman’s effort past a sprawling Alex Cairns.

The Ammies would have been intent on making amends for a poor first-half showing but made the worst possible start to the 2nd period.

Just six minutes after the interval The Ammies were caught cold at the back, Hawkins retrieved the ball in Salford’s half before slipping Ashley Nadesan through on the wing. The attacker drove into the box and squared for Timothee Dieng to score his second goal in as many matches.

Then the weather took a turn for the worst, first heavy rain further soaked the heavy pitch, then came a violent hailstorm. Soaked Salford looked bogged down throughout the half and failed to apply the necessary pressure to break past a well-tuned Gills backline.

Hail falls at the Peninsula. Credit: Edward Hayton

There was no lack of application from the Ammies, just a lack of cutting-edge. On the hour mark Salford registered their first meaningful attempt on target. Elliot Watt forced veteran goalkeeper Glenn Morris into a diving save with a curling effort.

Ten minutes later, at the height of the storm, McLennan failed to communicate with Morton who stretched for a header with McLennan better placed to register an attempt on goal.

Matt Smith went close late on, the striker got free from his marker for the first time in the match with less than 10 minutes to go, but could only direct a glancing header wide of the upright.

Ultimately Gillingham were good value for the 2-0 victory, this win sees the side move into the playoff positions.

Karl Robinson described the result as a bad end to a “Nightmare week” Salford currently occupy 19th position in League Two.

With this loss, The Ammies boss suffered his first home defeat as Head Coach, he will be hoping that his side can recover from this blip in form on the road against MK Dons next Saturday (3pm Kickoff).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *