Gillingham 0-2 Cheltenham Town
Gillingham 0-2 Cheltenham Town

Gillingham slipped to yet another League One defeat in front of a paltry Priestfield crowd as fans protested outside against chairman Paul Scally.

Once again Steve Evans was forced to go into the game with a paper thin squad, naming just five substitutes, four of those from the youth set up and the other a goalkeeper.

With fans prevented from entering the ground due to protesting against Scally before the game, it’s little wonder Priestfield was largely empty and flat as the club hit a new low before a ball had even been kicked.

Olly Lee was a surprise inclusion in the starting line up, recovering from a broken toe to start, whilst Robbie McKenzie was given the all clear to play having limped off at Crewe on Saturday.

This was the two teams’ fourth meeting of the season and it was the Robins who came out on top for the third time, as they moved up to 10th in the table.

After John Akinde rolled a good early chance wide for Gillingham, Cheltenham’s Alfie May got in behind, after a ball over the top was not cut out, but Jamie Cumming saved well with his foot.

But the Robins were ahead just before the half-hour mark when the Gills defence failed to deal with Chris Hussey’s corner and Long slammed in the loose ball from close range.

The hosts should have levelled in first-half stoppage time, as Lee again put Akinde through on goal, only for him to shoot off target once more.

Cheltenham doubled their lead with an hour played when Kyle Vassell nodded a long ball into the path of May, who rounded Cumming before scoring.

As try as they might, Gillingham just lacked that cutting edge and couldn’t find their way through a stubborn Cheltenham defence.

The defeat sees The Gills sit 20th in League One going into Saturday’s home clash with promotion chasing Portsmouth.

Once again it seems unlikely that Evans and co will have any more players at his disposal and could be the game that sees Gillingham drop into the relegation zone.

Max Ehmer picked up his fifth yellow card of the season and will undoubtedly be one of those missing at the weekend.

Gillingham: Cumming, Jackson, McKenzie, Ehmer, Tucker, Adshead, Phillips (Gale 86), Lintott, Lee (Gbode 81), Carayol (Sithole 77), Akinde.

Subs not used: Chapman, Akehurst.

Booked: Ehmer (53).

Cheltenham: Flinders, Long, Pollock, Freestone, Hussey, Sercombe, Chapman, Joseph, Crowley (Norton 64), Vassell (Williams 86), May (Wright 73).

Subs not used: Evans, Horton, Armitage, Barkers.

Goals: Long (30), May (60).

Booked: Flinders (69).

Referee: Mr James Linington

Attendance: 3,115