Gillingham 5-1 Fleetwood TownFleetwood Town suffered a 5-1 loss at the hands of Gillingham on Tuesday evening at the Priestfield Stadium.
Town took the lead through Bobby Grant just before the quarter hour mark when his free kick beat Stuart Nelson for his second goal in two games.
Luke Donnelly equalised for the Gills five minutes later with a low finish from inside the area which crept into the Chris Maxwell’s bottom corner.
Jordan Houghton then put the home side ahead, as he connected with Ryan Jackson’s cross and guided his header past Maxwell.
The lead was extended two minutes later when Town failed to clear their lines in the area, and John Egan hammered home a low finish.
Things were to get worse for the Cod Army soon after when Donnelly scored his second of the game as he lobbed keeper Maxwell after picking up a loose ball in the middle.
Gillingham added their fifth in the 86th minute, shortly after sub Eggert Jonsson was dismissed courtesy of Cody McDonald.
Graham Alexander rung the changes to his side for the trip to Kent, with no less than five players being brought into the starting eleven.
Danny Andrew and Stephen Jordan returned to the defence, while Amari’i Bell and Lyle Della-Verde were named in the midfield.
The surprise inclusion to the team sheet however was that of youngster Jack Sowerby, who made his professional debut having signed for the Club from Squiresgate last season.
Maxwell was called into action immediately as he kept out Donnelly’s half volley expertly from the edge of the box.
Town responded well though and created a chance of their own when Jamille Matt headed the ball into the path of Della-Verde who shot just over.
Matt later did well in the air to meet Della-Verde’s corner, but headed over at the back post as the visitors grew into the game.
Alexander’s side deservedly took the lead in the 13th minute when Grant’s free kick from the right beat Gills keeper Nelson.
The lead didn’t last long however as Donnelly equalised for the hosts five minutes later with a finish inside the area which crept into the bottom corner.
Justin Edinburgh’s men, buoyed by their response, went close to taking the lead when Luke Norris’ acrobatic overhead kick flew just over.
Grant then had an opportunity to put the Cod Army back in front, but couldn’t direct Sowerby’s excellent cross goalwards,
Houghton put the Kent outfit ahead on 28 minutes as he connected with Jackson’s inviting cross from the right and headed beyond Maxwell.
Egan extended the lead two minutes later as he rifled home a low finish after Town had failed to clear their lines inside the area.
Donnelly netted his second of the game soon after as he picked up on a loose ball and coolly lobbed keeper Maxwell from 20 yards when played in on goal.
Grant went close to pulling one back for Town just before the break, but Nelson was equal to his fierce drive from the edge of the box.
The visitors battled well at the start of the second period without really threatening the visitors' defence; Grant going the closest with a free kick which went over.
Alexander made a double substitution on the hour mark by brining on David Ball and Jamie Proctor for Sowerby and Matt.
Proctor was presented with a good chance for Town after coming on, when he linked up well with Ball and forced a good stop out of Nelson.
Fleetwood’s night soured even more in the 80th minute as Icelandic defender Jonsson was dimissed for a second yellow card and will consequently miss Saturday’s match at Scunthorpe United.
Gillingham compounded Town's misery in the 86th minute as sub McDonald rounded matters off for the Kent outfit and he could of added a sixth but was denied by a top save from Maxwell.