First-Half goals from Morris and Rodman give Town the win
Town: Craig MacGillivray, Ben Godfrey, Mat Sadler, Shaun Whalley, Abu Ogogo ©, Carlton Morris (Stefan Payne 65), Junior Brown, James Bolton Jon Nolan, Aristote Nsiala, Alex Rodman (Lenell John-Lewis 84)
Subs: Danny Coyne, Omar Beckles, Louis Dodds, Arthur Gnahoua, Lenell John-Lewis, Ebou Adams, Stefan Payne
Gillingham: Tomas Holy, Luke O’Neill (Sean Clare 65), Alex Lacey, Scott Wagstaff, Tom Eaves, Lee Martin © (Greg Cundle 81), Connor Ogilvie, Billy Bingham, Ben Nugent, Liam Nash (Josh Parker 61), Mark Byrne
Subs: Steve Arnold, Max Ehmer, Jake Hessenthaler, Josh Parker, Darren Oldaker, Greg Cundle, Sean Clare
Referee: Kevin Johnson
Assistants: Andrew Laver and John Farries
Fourth Official: Graham Kane
Shrewsbury Town continued their fine start to the 2017/18 League One season with a 2-1 victory over Gillingham. Town started slowly, but two goals within 10 minutes of the first half from Carlton Morris and Alex Rodman gave Shrewsbury a 2-0 lead at the break. Gillingham looked to get back into it in the second half and scored with 15 minutes remaining through Josh Parker, but Town held on for the win.
Craig MacGillivray in for Dean Henderson is the only change from the side which faced Oxford last weekend. Mat Sadler, Abu Ogogo, Carlton Morris and Alex Rodman all return to the side after being rested in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday. Stefan Payne remains on the bench despite his three goals in the last three games.
Gillingham were looking for their first League victory of the season and they started very brightly. Former Town boy Tom Eaves tested MacGillivray within the opening couple of minutes as he ran onto a header but Craig got down well to his right to make the save.
Gillingham then had the ball in the net with 10 minutes gone when Eaves caused problems in behind and Wagstaff latched onto it before side-footing past MacGillivray, but he was judged to be offside.
Gillingham continued to push forward and the Town ‘keeper was forced to make another good save when Liam Nash burst onto a through ball and unleased a powerful drive which MacGillivray managed to get a strong right hand to.
Town had to cope with a lot of pressure in the opening 25 minutes, but after staying in the game they created their best chance of the game when Alex Rodman found himself in behind the Gillingham defence, but his shot went inches wide of Tomas Holy’s post.
That attack appeared to give Town more belief and they went even closer when Carlton Morris latched onto Shaun Whalley’s ball over the top, but his volley from the angle was well saved.
However, Town would take the lead on the half-hour mark when Town recycled a corner and the ball found its way to Carlton Morris who finished high into the back of the net from 10 yards.
The goal appeared to loosen the shackles and Town scored a second just minutes later when Shaun Whalley produced a sumptuous cross onto the head of Alex Rodman at the back post whose header nestled into the bottom corner.
After an action packed end to the first-half, the start of the second was a more sedate affair as Town looked to take the sting out of the fixture.
Gillingham’s best opportunity to get back into it appeared to be from long-throws and they had a trio of throw-ins 10 minutes into the half, but Town managed to deal with them well enough.
There was little goalmouth action to talk about in the opening 20 minutes of the second half. Town’s best work came when they used the flanks, although they couldn’t find the all-important final ball, whilst Gillingham were restricted to shots from distance with Mark Bryne going close form 30 yards.
However, Gillingham did get one back with 15 minutes remaining as Scott Wagstaff produced a fine cross the right and Josh Parker got up well to glance it into the bottom corner.
Gillingham pushed for a winner and Billy Bingham went close when he hit one from 25 yards, but it went inches over the top of Craig MacGillivray’s goal.
Town brought on Lenell John-Lewis and Omar Beckles to held see the game out for the final 10 minutes.
With five minutes of additional time added Gillingham gave it one final push and won a late corner, but Craig MacGillivray punched well and Town held on for their fourth win of the season.