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Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 2 Morecambe 1

16 September 2023

Two first half goals either side of a Michael Mellon equaliser was enough for Gillingham to secure all three points.

George Lapslie stuck first before Mellon equalised minutes later in impressive fashion; Connor Mahoney’s 23rd minute strike without response proved the difference.

An early chance for the home side saw the ball worked toward Scott Malone at the back post, he looked to find a yard of space but eventually saw his shot blocked.

The deadlock was broken on nine minutes when, following the first corner of the afternoon, the ball fell to Lapslie who struck on the turn and found the back of the net at close range.

Minutes later and the Shrimps carved out a perfect response – Mellon latched onto a long ball over the top before lobbing Jake Turner in spectacular style.

Stuart Moore was called into action on 19 minutes when Connor Mahoney looked to fire the hosts in front, but a smart save denied the Gills’ man. 

Four minutes later, the hosts were in front again – Mahoney once more with the effort, this time after feigning a shot to unbalance the defender, he managed to find the top corner.

With the first half ticking on, Derek Adams’ men looked for a second and produced a number of promising counter attacks, the most dangerous seeing Eli King pick up possession on the edge of the box before blasting over.

Mellon went close in the dying embers of the first 45 with a stunning volley from the right-hand side of the area on the angle, but the ball crashed against the crossbar before going behind for a goal kick. 

Half-time: Gillingham 2 Morecambe 1

Gillingham looked to extend their lead 11 minutes into the second half as Scott Malone looked to thread a ball through to Conor Masterson, but the latter was offside.

JJ McKiernan was called upon for defensive duties just past the hour mark as the ball was sent deep toward the back post, which was headed away to safety – the resulting corner came to nothing as a foul in the box gifted the Shrimps a free kick.

For the second time in the game, the Shrimps looked to net an equaliser through Mellon with a free kick from around 25 yards out in a central position, but the strike was straight at Turner.

With around 15 minutes left to play, Michael Mellon was dismissed for a second yellow card which came after he looked to get a shot off and accidentally caught an opposition defender.  

Debutant Ethan Walker made his debut after coming on in place of Eli King, and he looked to level proceedings with a fierce strike from distance, but it was held by Turner.

The hosts looked to wrap up proceedings just before the 90 through Tom Nichols, who twisted and turned away from the defenders before pulling the trigger; the strike took a deflection and sailed behind.

Full-time: Gillingham 2 Morecambe 1

Gillingham: Turner, Alexander, Masterson, Williams ©, Lapslie (Clarke, 26’), J Williams (Nichols, 74’), Malone, Coleman, Ogie, Mahoney (McKenzie, 90+4’), Bonne (Nadesan, 74’).

Subs not used: Morris, Ehmer, Hawkins.

Goals: Lapslie (09’), Mahoney (23’).

Bookings: J Williams.

Red cards: None.

Morecambe: Moore, Love ©, Bedeau, Songo’o (C Smith, 84’), Bloxham (Taylor, 59’), King (Walker, 65’), Mellon, McKiernan, Senior (Tutonda, 65’), Slew (Davenport, 59’), Connolly.

Subs not used: A Smith, Stokes.

Goals: Mellon (11’).

Bookings: Mellon, Connolly, Love, Tutonda.

Red cards: Mellon.

Attendance: 5,915 (120 away).

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