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Colchester United 0-2 Gillingham
Colchester United 0-2 Gillingham

Two goals in the closing stages of the first half earned Gillingham their first away league win of the season and lifted Neil Harris’ side off the bottom of the Football League as the Gills avenged Colchester United’s Boxing Day win at Priestfield.

Strikes by David Tutonda and Tom Nichols gave the Gills a half time lead that they never really looked like surrendering and following on last weekend’s win over Hartlepool United secured back-to-back league wins for the first time since the back end of last season.

The Gills boss named an unchanged eleven to start as two of the sides fighting at the bottom of the League squared up to each other and initially cancelled each other out. 

Glenn Morris did brilliantly to keep out Noah Chilvers curling effort in the home sides best chance before the Gills took the lead ten minutes from half time. Tutonda did brilliantly to get on the end of Tim Dieng’s flick from Alex MacDonalds cross and loop his header over Kieran O’Hara and into the Colchester net for his first goal for the club sending the 1200 travelling fans wild.

The lead was doubled in first half stoppage time. Dom Jeffries was magnificently denied by O’Hara but from the resulting MacDonald corner, Nichols doubled his Gills account heading home off the underside of the bar.

The home side came out strongly at the start of the second half, but Morris and his yellow wall held firm superbly, and when the wall was breached the Gills keeper pulled off a magnificent save to deny Chilvers again as the Colchester man seemed to have gone round the goalkeeper.

Inside the final fifteen minutes, the home players were convinced that a Gillingham hand touched the ball in the box but despite loud and ultimately desperate appeals, Mr Young wasn’t interested.

The final whistle lifted the Gills off the foot of the table and now just within two points of climbing out of the relegation zone completely and with the growing confidence and belief in the hall ways of Priestfield since Christmas, it’s certainly a possibility!

COLCHESTER UNITED – O’Hara, Hall, Chambers, Dallison (Tovide 63), Tchamadeu, Skuse, Ashley (Read 53), Wood, Chilvers, Jay (Hannant 83), Akinde.

Unused Subs – Hornby, Smith, Sears, Kelleher.

Booked: Akinde (61).

GILLINGHAM – Morris, McKenzie, Wright, Ehmer, Tutonda, Williams, Dieng, Jefferies (O’Keefe 90), MacDonald (Alexander 73), Nichols (Lapslie 73), Hawkins.

Unused Subs – Turner, Adelakun, Gbode, Walker.

Goals: Tutonda (36), Nichols (45+3).

Booked: Williams (27), Tutonda (68).

REFEREE – Mr Alan Young

Attendance: 5,435

Picture supplied by Gillingham Football Club.