Category: Featured
Gillingham 2-0 Wycombe Wanderers

They came; they saw; and they left a well beaten side as Gillingham produced their best performance yet under Steve Evans to shatter League leaders Wycombe Wanderers unbeaten start to the League season.

A second half double from Mikael Ndjoli tells only half the story as Gillingham finally defended a two-goal lead and won back to back home games for the first time since in six months!

There were stars all over the Priestfield pitch all in blue – skipper Max Ehmer and Connor Ogilvie combined the substantial threat that former Gills striker Adebayo Akinfenwa still possesses, whilst Mikael Mandron produced his best hour in a blue shirt as he demonstrated just why Evans was so keen to bring him to Priestfield.

Yet it was the withdrawal of Mandron just before the hour that turned the game as within two minutes, Gills had broken the deadlock thanks to a brilliant run and cross from sub Brandon Hanlon which Ndojli controlled brilliantly before making no mistake drilling into the roof of the leaders net.

Wycombe really knew it wasn’t their day 12 minutes later when the impressive Olly Lee was bundled over and referee Adcock immediately pointed to the spot despite the visitors howls of protest. Undeterred by the antics of keeper Ryan Allsop, Ndojli drove the ball beyond the keeper and into the net to seal an important three points for the home side.

The game began at a hundred miles an hour with both sides struggling to mount any decent chances with the final balls into both boxes failing to really impress and the chances that did come in the opening forty-five minutes being half chances.

Alex Samuel fired Wycombe’s first real chance wide, before Jack Bonham produced a smart save to deny Fred Onyedinma. The Gills then had their best chance just before the break when Mark Marshall’s free kick, fell to Ehmer who’s shot was blocked behind for a corner.

The tightness of the first half was highlighted in stoppage time when it had appeared that Barry Fuller had released Mandron but for an incredibly late Assistants flag as the big number nine looked to be racing through on goal.

Early in the second half, Bonham saved well from Nick Freeman before the substitution that turned the game on 57 minutes. Mandron was applauded off for his efforts, yet within ninety seconds Hanlan was racing away leaving Anthony Stewart in his wake. His centre found Ndjoli, and the on loan Bournemouth striker did the rest firing the Gills ahead.

Yet the expected response from the leaders didn’t really materialise as Ehmer and Ogilvie stopped everything that was thrown at them and when they needed help, Fuller (who before the game received a memento from Gills Chairman Paul Scally to mark his 200th appearance for the club) and Tom O’Connor were on hand to keep the clean sheet intact.

The game was sealed nineteen minutes from time when Lee was felled in the box and Referee Adcock pointed straight to the spot and the on-loan Bournemouth striker duly sealed the points from twelve yards.

The Gills left the field to a fully deserved standing ovation from the Priestfield faithful who had waited a long time for a performance like this and left many asked just how much pace the Evans Revolution is gathering beyond their very eyes!

That said, three points are just three points at the start of a massive week for the club as after a tough trip to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday they welcome another unbeaten side Ipswich Town, who come to Kent on Saturday… All this and its only September!

GILLINGHAM – Jack Bonham, Max Ehmer, Connor Ogilvie, Mikael Mandron (Brandon Hanlon 57), Mikael Ndjoli (Stuart O’Keefe 90+2), Barry Fuller, Mark Byrne, Mark Marshall, Olly Lee (Ben Pringle 76), Tom O’Connor

Subs – Joe Walsh, Lee Hodson, Alex Jakubiak & Jack Tucker

WYCOMBE WANDERERS – Ryan Allsop, Joe Jacobson, Dominic Gape (David Wheeler 69), Anthony Stewart, Alex Pattison, Jack Grimmer (Giles Phillips 69), Adebayo Akinfenwa, Darrius Charles, Nick Freeman, Alex Samuel (Scott Kashket 28), Nnamdi Ofoborh

Subs – Cameron Yates, Jamie Mascoll, Curtis Thompson & Josh Parker

REFEREE – James Adcock

ASSISTANTS – Graham Kane & Geoffrey Russell

FOURTH OFFICIAL – Matthew Russell

Picture supplied by Gillingham Football Club

Welling 1-2 Wealdstone

League leaders Wealdstone were victorious at Welling United but they may have wondered how they did it.

Although Welling were the better team, two goals in ten second half minutes put Wealdstone in the driving seat, Welling pulled one back through Adam Coombes and might have levelled in injury time. 

Aston Oxborough, Wealdstone’s goalkeeper on loan from Norwich City, made some outstanding saves to claim the three points for his team.

After former Wing Ross Lafayette had a free-kick read and saved by Dan Wilks, Oxborough made his first save, a brilliant one pushing wide a strong header from Adam Coombes’ header.

Lafayette missed an excellent chance when blasting over when well placed before Bradley Goldberg brought down a long ball but shot straight at Oxbourogh then the Norwich City loanee did well to tip over from Anthony Cook’s shot.

Theo Widdrington, on debut, screwed wide having been found by Gavin McCallum before having a shot deflected wide,

Coombes fired over from Joe Anderson’s cross before glancing a header wide just before the break.

Jacob Mendy shot well over early in the second half before Gavin McCallum did likewise at the other end. 

Widdrington then came desperately close to putting Welling ahead when his shot flew back off the post but it was the Stones who broke the deadlock soon after. A deep corner found an unmarked Michael Phillips and he hardly had to jump to head home.

Danny Green then brought a good low save out of Dan Wilks before Wealdstone scored again. Welling were cut open by a quick passing move and Dennon Lewis collected before slotting home.

To their credit, Welling didn’t crumble and pulled one back with five minutes remaining. Coombes was hauled down in the penalty area and smashed home from the spot via the underside of the bar.

Nathan Green had a great chance to level when heading wide from a corner before Welling had a gilt edge chance in injury time. Jack Jebb’s clever flick gave Coombes space to put in a diagonal ball behind the back four to send Aaron Cosgrave clean through but Oxborough was out quickly to make the points winning block.

Welling United: Wilks, Rich-Baghuelou, Anderson, Widdrington (Jebb 80), Swaine, Okosieme, Cook, Agyemang, Goldberg (Cosgrave 71), Coombes, McCallum (Green 59).

Subs not used: Rooney, Oyinsan.

Goalscorers: Coombes pen (85)

Yellow cards: Rich-Baghuelou

Wealdstone: Oxborough, Arnold, Efete. Clifford (Sheppard 80), Stevens, Okimo, Phillips, Mendy (Smith 59), Lafayette, Green, Lewis.

Subs not used: Roberts, North, Watt.

Goalscorers: Phillips (68), Lewis (78)

Yellow cards: Smith

Referee: Rob Whitton

Assistants: Christopher Horsman and Ayrton Hursey

Attendance: 594