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Gillingham 2-1 Morecambe
Gillingham 2-1 Morecambe

Conor Mahoney’s first half screamer sent Gillingham back to the top of the League Two table as Neil Harris’ side edged past a rugged Morecambe at Priestfield. 

After Notts County knocked the Gills off top spot by winning at Salford on Friday night, Harris’ were fast out of the blocks and were ahead in the seventh minute when George Lapslie fired home.

The lead though was only there for a matter of minutes as Michael Mellon – who was to have an “eventful” afternoon, brilliantly lobbed the visitors level, before Mohoney cut in from the wing to fire a simply glorious strike into the top corner, a goal good enough to win any game and so it was to prove to be! 

A welcome sight on the Gills bench was Oli Hawkins, named in the first team squad for the first time this season and Ethan Coleman returned to the starting side after suspension. 

Gills were ahead on nine minutes, Mahoney’s corner was headed on by Coleman and Lapslie blasted the ball home, but the lead lasted less than two minutes as Mellon magnificently lobbed over the advancing Jake Turner for the first goal that the home side has conceded in the first half of a game at Priestfield this season. 

Rocked, Harris would have been pleased at his side’s reaction and in particular the work of Mahoney who was at the heart of nearly everything the Gills did, and on nineteen minutes only a magnificent save from Stuart Moore stooped the on-loan Huddersfield man from putting the Gills back in front.

Macauley Bonne, Scott Malone and Jonny Williams combined brilliantly and as the ball found Mahoney, his arrowed shot forced Moore into a really good low save. From the corner, Bonne thought he’d scored by Mr Bourne had other ideas having seen a push.  

Mahoney though wasn’t going to be denied as he brilliantly left a defender for dead before drilling a howitzer beyond Moore into the top corner. 

Mellon thought he’d matched Mahoney just before the break, but the crossbar came to the Gills’ rescue after his snapshot beat Turner but crashed off the frame of the goal and away to safety. 

The second half slowed as the warm weather began to take its toll but not before Jayden Clarke was denied by a very brave keeper’s block. 

Mellon then thumped a free kick straight into Turner’s chest before receiving his second yellow card of the game by catching Conor Masterson as the defender cleared. 

Tom Nichols was inches away from a Gillingham third in stoppage time, but the points were won and win number six out of eight was secured as was a return to the top of the League table.  

GILLINGHAM – Turner, Alexander, Masterson, Ogie, Malone, Coleman, S. Williams, J. Williams (Nichols), Lapslie (Clarke), Mahoney (McKenzie), Bonne (Nadesan) 

Subs – Morris, Ehmer, Hawkins 

MORECAMBE – Moore, Love, Connolly, Bedeau, Senior (Tutonda), Songo’o (Cammy Smith), King (Walker), Bloxham (Taylor), McKiernan, Slew (Davenport), Mellon 

Subs – Adam Smith, Stokes 

REFEREE – Mr Bourne