AFC Wimbledon 2-4 Gillingham
AFC Wimbledon 2-4 Gillingham

The Gills eased their relegation worries and moved into the top half of the League One table with a 4-2 win over AFC Wimbledon this afternoon.

Goals from Brendan Hanlon and Graham Burke cancelled out a 22 minute strike from Michael Folivi. In the second half Leo Da Silva Lopes and Tom Eaves ensured the three points came back to Kent. There was still time for a consolation strike in injury time from James Hanson for AFC Wimbledon.

Boss Steve Lovell named an unchanged line-up after last weekend’s draw against Luton Town, as he looked for the side to build momentum.

Wimbledon lined-up with some familiar faces in their squad to Gills supporters, Scott Wagstaff and former loanee Joe Pigott were in the starting line-up with Andy Barcham on the bench.

It was the hosts who had the first chance of the game, Folovi and Pigott got in behind the Gills defence, with Pigott crossing in for Folivi but his header was straight at Tomas Holy who was making his 100th appearance in a Gills shirt.

The home side were in the ascendancy and they went the closest that they had yet, when they hit the post although the linesman’s flag was raised as Pigott unleashed his shot from the edge of the area.

They did take the lead in the 22nd minute, former Gill Wagstaff raced into the area and pulled the ball back to Folivi who from the penalty spot area thumped home his shot to make it 1-0.

This seemed to spur the Gills into life, as on the half hour mark they created their first chance of the afternoon. Da Silva Lopes drove at the Wimbledon defence and picked out Hanlon but his shot was saved by Aaron Ramsdale.

He would go one better and find the net and the Gills equaliser in the 40th minute, Lopes again was the provider, and this time Hanlon fired in low into the corner to make it 1-1.

The game was turned right around a minute later when the Gills went in front for the first time in the match, in fortunate style. Graham Burke tried his luck from fully yards with a speculative effort. It was straight at the keeper, but he spilled the ball into the back of the net, making it 1-2 to the Gills.

Half time 1-2

Shortly after half time and the Gills were convinced they had extended their lead further, but Connor Ogilvie was offside as he headed into the back of the net.

It wasn’t long before the Gills made it 1-3, with Lopes latching onto a throw in and fired his shot on the half volley into the far corner.

It was all the visitors now with chances falling to Lopes and Burke and Burke hit the post with one of his chances.

Eaves not wanting to be left out of the action netted his 20th goal of the season and in doing so became the first Gills striker since Cody McDonald in the 2010/11 season to score 20 goals in a season.

He rose highest and totally unmarked to head home a Luke O’Neill pinpoint free-kick, and secure the Gills three points.

In injury time Wimbledon got a goal back when Hanson was first to meet a cross into the area and head into the bottom corner to make it 2-4.

Full Time 2-4

AFC Wimbledon: Ramsdale (GK), Thomas, Wagstaff (Hanson 60’), Hartigan (Connolly 60’), Seddon, Sibbick, McDonald Kalambayi, Pigott, Wordsworth, Folivi (McLoughlin 61’)

Unused subs: McDonnell (GK), Watson, Pinnock, Barcham

Gillingham: Holy (GK); O’Neill, Ehmer, Ogilvie, Fuller; Byrne, Lopes (Parrett 90+5’), Reilly, Burke (Charles-Cook 88’); Eaves, Hanlan (List 90+4’)

Unused substitutes: Hadler (GK), Lacey, Rees, Campbell

Attendance: 4847 (765 Gills fans)

Image courtesy of GFC