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Club News

Report: Town 1-3 Gillingham

26 December 2015

TEN-MAN Town slipped to a 3-1 home Boxing Day defeat against Gillingham, writes Adrian Smith.

Jon Obika had given Town the lead in the 18th minute but were immediately pegged back by Bradley Dack before Jake Hessenthaler doubled their lead in the 35th minute. Ryan Jackson sealed the win in the 69th before Lawrence Vigouroux saved Dack’s late penalty. Town captain Raphael Rossi-Branco was sent off for two yellow cards to cap a bad day for the Robins.                                                                             

Martin Ling kept faith with the same starting 11 that had won at Shrewsbury in Town’s previous game and it was Gillingham who kicked off playing towards the 888 Sport Town End.

Swindon made a bright start earning a corner in the 3rd minute which was taken by Anton Rodgers but the ball was cleared.

Ben Gladwin picked up the ball just inside the Gills half and went on a mazy run into the penalty area before firing over from close range in the 6th minute after jinking past several players.

The visitors were awarded a free kick in the 9th minute for a push on Dack and when the ball was crossed, it was headed behind by Samuel and at the other end Barry sent a tame shot goalwards after Gladwin’s cross had been headed away.

Jake Hessenthaler was cautioned in the 15th minute for a late challenge.

Gillingham earned a corner when Vigouroux tipped a goalbound shot around the post but Town defended the resulting cross.

Town took a deserved lead in the 18th minute when Gladwin received the ball on the left wing before sending a cross to Jonathan Obika who advanced several paces before firing past Stuart Nelson. However the lead was shortlived as the Gills equalised one minute later through Bradley Dack who received a pass from Samuel before firing home from 20 yards to the left of Vigouroux.

There was a break in play for Dack to receive treatment after injuring himself tackling Ajose but he was able to continue after a short break.

Ben Gladwin tried his luck in the 29th minute with a shot from 20 yards but the ball fizzed past Nelson’s right hand post and out for a goal kick.

Bradley Dack was lucky not to cautioned for a kick on Branco after he had cleared the ball in the 32nd minute but the referee elected to speak to both Branco and Dack without showing any cards.

Gillingham took the lead in the 35th minute when a cross into the box was not cleared from the box and the ball reached Jake Hessenthaler who fired home to the left of Vigouroux.

Town were awarded a free kick in the 40th minute for a late challenge on Obika but Rodgers’ cross was cleared at the expense of a throw in.

Raphael Rossi Branco was cautioned for fouling Wright on the halfway line after Obika had lost possession very easily in the Gills half on the stroke of halftime.

The Gills were happy to retain possession for much of the three minutes of added time and went in ahead at half time.

Town kicked off the second half and there was a brief hold up when a fox ran the full length of the pitch and onto the Allen Ford Stand.

The Gills earned a corner in the 50h minute but the cross evaded everyone in the penalty area and eventually went out for a goal kick.

Yaser Kasim replaced Robert in the 55th minute as Martin Ling looked to try and get Town back onto level terms.

Rory Donnolly had a chance for the Gills but his close range header went wide under pressure from El Abd.

Bradley Garmston tested Vigouroux’s reflexes with a powerful shot from close range which the Town keeper did well to push away before the ball was cleared by Turnbull.

Adejo Oshilala was cautioned for a late challenge on Branco in the 64th minute and shortly afterwards  Dack saw yellow for fouling Barry. Within a minute another ugly foul by Gillingham saw Garmston cautioned for fouling Obika who was charging towards goal.

Stuart Nelson needed treatment after taking a knock when challenging for a loose ball but he was able to continue after a couple of minutes.

The visitors went further ahead with a superb goal in the 69th minute through Ryan Jackson who curled in a powerful groundshot from 25 yards past the despairing reach of Vigouroux.

James Brophy replaced Adam El Abd in the 74th minute and he left the field to good applause.

Louis Thompson tried his luck with a long range shot from 30 yards but his effort went narrowly wide of goal in the 78th minute.

Luke Norris replaced Dominic Samuel in the 83rd minute but within one minute Town were reduced to 10 players when Branco was sent off for chopping a Gills player down.

Anton Rodgers was replaced by Drissa Traore in the 88th minute.

Jon Obika launched a Town attack in the 90th minute before sending a cross into the box where Turnbull defected the ball wide.

Kasim was cautioned for a late challenge near the corner flag and when the free kick was taken, Vigouroux did well to tip the ball over for a corner under pressure. However Town were punished when the corner was taken when Barry pushed a forward over in the penalty area and the referee awarded a penalty. Up stepped Bradley Dack but his shot was well stopped by Vigouroux and the ball was cleared by Barry to deny Dack a second goal of the match.

Barry was shown a yellow card for a late challenge near the corner flag but the resulting free kick was cleared.

There was no further action to report before the final whistle was blown  by referee Fred Graham to end Town’s last home match of 2015.

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