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Salford City 0-1 Gillingham
Salford City 0-1 Gillingham

Cheye Alexander struck the final goal of the season from the penalty spot on 83 minutes to ensure that Gillingham ended their season with the win that underlined the improvement since Christmas.

On January 2nd, The Gills were rock bottom of the Football League, six points from safety only scoring seven league goals and fourteen points from their first half of the season.

Alexander’s second spot kick in three games secured The Gills a 17th place finish, fully twelve points clear of the trap door after securing 41 points from their second half of the season – a massive improvement in anyone’s language.

The game itself was a nervy last day for Salford as they looked for a post season campaign whilst the Gills were safe with nothing to play for – not that the mamager would let the visitors do anything but give their very, very best!

Harris made four changes including a game for Jake Turner in the Gills goal and it was Turner who was the busier in the opening half – making a great save from Steve Mallan before an even better reaction save to keep out Louie Barry’s deflected effort.

The Gills created half chances primarily through some great play from Robbie McKenzie, but neither Tom Nichols nor Oli Hawkins could convert and divert goalwards.

Turner then made another great save – this time from Matt Smith – on the hour before Nichols fired over when well placed with twenty minutes left.

With ten minutes left, Lewis Page came on for David Tutonda and within seconds the substitute was flattened by Lewis Shepherd and referee Rebecca Walsh pointed to the spot and up stepped Alexander who coolly rolled the ball into the corner of the net.

And so, Gillingham’s rollercoaster of a season ends with three points courtesy of Cheye Alexander’s late penalty which arguably sends Salford City into their Play Off campaign down the more difficult route and a semi final against fierce local rivals Stockport County.

But quite frankly do we care in Kent… probably not!

Roll on August…

SALFORD CITY – Cairns, Shephard (Morton 90), Vassell, Mariappa, Touray, Watt, Mallan, Bolton, Hendry (McAleny 73), Barry (Lund 73), Smith.

Subs not used – Bellagambi, Galbraith, Leak, McLoughlin.

Booked: Mallan (86), Watt (87).

GILLINGHAM – Turner, McKenzie (Alexander 67), Ehmer, Masterson, Tutonda (Page 81), Coleman, Jefferies, Lapslie (Chambers 74), Clarke (MacDonald 67), Hawkins, Nichols.

Subs not used – Morris, Wright, Gbode.

Goal: Alexander (pen 84).

Booked: Ehmer (11), Tutonda (61).

REFEREE – Rebecca Welch.

Attendance: 3519 (754 Gills).

Picture supplied by Gillingham Football Club.