Reports | Gillingham 2-0 Hartlepool United – News
Gills seal huge win over Hartlepool at ME7.
Tom Nichols and Dom Jefferies scored their first Gillingham goals as Neil Harris’ side secured a vital three points in a 2-0 win against Hartlepool at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.
Nichols scored five minutes before half-time when he got on the end of Alex MacDonald’s free-kick towards the six-yard box.
Just short of the hour, Jefferies made it two. He did well to get into the left side of the box before curling the ball into the top corner beyond the reach of Ben Killip.
Neil Harris announced all four new signings in his bottom-of-the-table starting XI. Oli Hawkins, Tom Nichols and Timothee Dieng all made their debuts for the club. Glenn Morris returned in goal after signing permanently, while Dom Jefferies was fine to start in midfield, having limped off in the FA Cup tie against Leicester.
The Gills started the game brilliantly when Max Ehmer had the first real opportunity of the game. Nichols played the ball to Ehmer inside the 16-yard box, and the center back took aim from a tight angle. He curled his effort towards goal, but it was straight at Ben Killip, who made the simple save.
Nichols was involved again when his ball over the 16-yard box was pushed out by Killip. It eventually fell to Jefferies, who couldn’t get a shot away as the visitors cleared their lines.
In the 20th minute, Dieng had a good opportunity. Alex MacDonald floated a free kick from the left side of the 16-metre towards the six-metre. Dieng rose highest but was unable to keep his head down as it cleared the crossbar.
Nichols continued to cause the Hartlepool defense problems when he got in behind. He made it to the edge of the penalty area before trying his luck. However, he couldn’t find the target as his shot at the near post went wide and Killip covered it.
Josh Umerah forced Morris into a save in the 29th minute when he managed to get a shot away. The striker received the ball at his feet before turning and directing a powerful strike towards the near post. Morris did well to get over and palm it behind him for a corner.
Hawkins had his first chance a few minutes later when he was played through on goal by MacDonald. When he went through on goal, he was closed down and managed to get a shot away as he slid to the floor. It had plenty of power, but went well over the mark.
In the 40th minute, Nichols gave Gillingham the lead. He won a free-kick on the left after being hacked down by Reghan Tumilty and MacDonald grabbed the set-piece. The midfielder curled a wonderful ball towards the six-yard box, which allowed Nichols to get over the defender and slot the ball past Killip.
HALF TIME: Gillingham 1-0 Hartlepool United
Hartlepool thought they had equalized in the 58th minute. Mark Shelton, who came on at half-time, was allowed to get into the penalty area before shooting. His effort took a deflection on its way towards goal and Umerah headed it home from close range. Fortunately for Gillingham, he was in an offside position.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when Jefferies scored his first Gillingham goal seconds later. Nichols played the midfielder through down the left and the 20-year-old made his way towards the box. He opened up his body before curling a shot towards the far corner. It had enough height and power with Killip unable to keep it out, sending the MEMS Priestfield Stadium into raptures.
Umerah was inches away from getting The Pools back into the game. The ball was crossed from the left, and the striker got well over his marker and headed the ball over the goal. It beat Morris but hit the inside of the post before taking a lucky bounce back into the hands of the Gills keeper.
Gills were very lucky to keep a clean sheet in the 84th minute. Mohamed Sylla floated a cross into the box, which was overrun. Morris looked to go for the ball but David Ferguson got there at the back post as he looked to head it back. The Gills keeper got in front of the ball to stop it before claiming it.
FULL TIME: Gillingham 2-0 Hartlepool United
Gillingham: Morris, McKenzie, Ehmer, Wright, Tutonda, Williams, MacDonald (Adelakun 79′), Dieng, Jefferies (Alexander 87′), Nichols (Kashket 80′), Hawkins
Unused substitutions: Turner, Baggott, O’Keefe, Gbode
Hartlepool United: Killip, Tumilty (Shelton 46′), Menayese, Ferguson, Dodds, Dolan, Syla, Featherstone, Gray (McDonald 81′), Umerah, Hamilton (Hastie 46′)
Unused substitutions: Boyes, Niang, Missilou
Participation: 6003 (255 away fans)
Judge: Robert Lewis