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Report: Vassell's early penalty sees Town earn all three points against Gillingham

9 March 2021

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Fleetwood Town made it three wins in a row on Tuesday evening as they managed to beat Gillingham 1-0 at Highbury Stadium.

The deadlock was broken within the first two minutes as Kyle Vassell converted a penalty after Ged Garner was fouled inside the Gillingham box. Town looked the more likely to add a second goal to the tie as Vassell and Rossiter both had shots collide with the bar throughout the game.

The first chance of the game led to the opening goal as Ged Garner was pushed to the ground inside the Gillingham area, which resulted in a penalty for Simon Grayson’s side. Vassell then stepped up and put it in the back of the net, off the inside of the right-hand post.

A minute later, Town were on the attack yet again, through Garner, who drove forward through the midfield and dragged his shot just wide of the far post from 20-yards.

Fleetwood had a free-kick four minutes in, continuing the fast start, which was taken quickly and met the feet of Vassell but his effort is deflected out for a corner after hitting the crossbar.

20 minutes in, Town’s two frontmen - Vassell and Garner – both linked up yet again as the former worked his way through the Gillingham backline before forcing a near-post save from Jack Bonham.

Both sides battled it out after this, with half chances being worked but the next real chance was at the start of the second half as Dan Batty cut in from the left and decided to try his luck from distance, with his effort going just wide of the post.

In the 50th minute, Gillingham worked their way forwards and, even though play could have been stopped for a high-foot, substitute John Akinde carried on, but his shot was well dealt with by Alex Cairns.

Town were then on the ascent as they had two quickfire chances. The first was a run from Callum Camps, whose eventual shot was saved by Bonham.

Soon after, Bonham then cleared the ball from a counterattack to Rossiter on the halfway line. The midfielder then hit the ball the first time, trying to lob to the goalkeeper, but his shot bounced off the crossbar.

With 15 minutes to go, Gillingham came close to an equaliser as the ball bundled around the Fleetwood box before Akinde half-volleyed the ball towards goal, but the strike didn’t trouble Cairns.

A minute later, Fleetwood ran down the other end and played the ball to Batty, who struck the ball towards the Gills goal, but it flew over the bar.

Town then sat back and held on to the lead as Gillingham tried to find an equaliser but the game didn't see a second goal, which meant Fleetwood would take all three points from the tie

Town XI: Cairns (GK), Andrew, Connolly (C), Camps (Finley 83’), Rossiter, Vassell, Donacien, Batty (Biggins 83’), Garner (Madden 65’), Holgate, Hill.

Subs not used: Coleman (GK), Burns, Rydel, S.Morris.

Gills XI: Bonham (GK), Jackson (McKenzie 45’), Ogilvie, O’Keefe, Tucker, Dempsey (C), Graham (MacDonald 68’), Lee (Willock 65’), Oliver, O’Connor (Akinde 50’), Cundy.

Subs not used: Bastien (GK), Morton, Johnson.

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