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Match Reports

Report: Gillingham 2-0 Wycombe

Blues defeated for the first time this season.

14 September 2019

A second-half double from Mikael Ndjoli condemned Wanderers to a first defeat of the season at Priestfield on Saturday.

After an uneventful first half, the game was settled by a brace from the Gills' summer signing, who blasted home following excellent play from Brandon Hanlan before converting a penalty following a foul on Olly Lee.

Gareth Ainsworth made three changes to the side that defeated Lincoln City to move top of League 1 seven days earlier, as Matt Bloomfield missed out as a precaution following his head injury, and David Wheeler and Scott Kashket made way for Alex Pattison and Adebayo Akinfenwa, with Nnamdi Ofoborh also coming into the side for his first ever senior start.

The Gills claimed of a virus in midweek which had affected their preparations, with leading scorer and former Chairboy Alex Jakubiak reduced to a role on the bench.

An uneventful opening 10 minutes concluded with a fine passing move, hinging round the midfield pivot of Ofoborh, which resulted in Alex Samuel’s low shot being blocked behind for a corner, from which Anthony Stewart’s first-time effort was cleared from danger as it bounced across the face of goal.

Samuel was proving a lively runner in attack, and poked a chance wide of the near-post after getting ahead of his man to meet a low Nick Freeman cross on 18 minutes, but the striker was then poleaxed in one of two crunching tackles from Evans’ men, eventually being deemed okay to continue after treatment, but being replaced by Kashket five minutes later after another strong challenge.

Freeman flashed a volley at goal moments later after Akinfenwa knocked down Jacobson’s deep free-kick, with Jack Bonham parrying it behind for a corner, and Jacobson almost had another goal to shout about with his back-post curling delivery almost finding the net, but ultimately bouncing wide for another corner after a challenge between Anthony Stewart and the defender.

Gillingham hadn’t registered a shot in the first 33 minutes but nearly opened the scoring when Olly Lee’s free-kick was flicked on and Max Ehmer found space at the back post, only to be denied by the boot of Ryan Allsop with a low side-footed effort.

That was it in terms of chances during a largely forgettable first half, and with no changes in personnel at the interval, the start of the second period followed a similar pattern.

Mikael Mandron delivered a weak header into the arms of Allsop from a deep free-kick, before Nick Freeman’s low near-post effort was collected comfortably by Bonham.

Evans made Gillingham’s first change on 58 minutes, withdrawing Mandron for Brandon Hanlan, who supplied the winner in the fixture between the sides last February, and he was instantly involved in the hosts making the breakthrough. His smart touch down the left saw him turn away from Stewart and dart into the box, ultimately squaring for Mikael Ndjoli who smashed home into the top corner.

Kashket was denied a clear run on goal by an excellent last-ditch challenge from Tom O’Connor following an Akinfenwa flick-on, and Ofoborh went close with a fizzing effort from distance before Giles Phillips and David Wheeler came into the fray, with Jacobson and Jack Grimmer making way.

It meant a change in shape for Wycombe, going 3-4-1-2 for the final 20 minutes, with Wheeler and Freeman out wide in midfield.

However they were barely on the pitch for a minute when Gills won a penalty for an alleged foul by Phillips on Olly Lee, and Ndjoli fired home his second of the game, beating Allsop away to his right.

Lee was replaced by Ben Pringle in the Gills’ second change of the game, while Wheeler and Freeman fired over when well placed as nothing was quite able to click in front of goal.

But there was no way back, and Wanderers were forced to endure that sinking feeling for the first time this season, eager to put things right when Accrington visit Adams Park on Tuesday.

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