GillsConnect News Desk

Dateline: SUNDAY 6 MAY 2018



Gills: Tomas Holy, Luke O'Neill, Max Ehmer, Gabriel Zakuani, Bradley Garmston, Mark Byrne, Scott Wagstaff, Callum Reilly, Lee Martin (Jake Hessenthaler 65) Josh Parker (Elliott List 84) and Tom Eaves (Conor Wilkinson 74).

Unused subs: Tom Hadler, Connor Ogilvie, Ben Nugent and Navid Nasseri.


Plymouth Argyle 2

Joel Grant (23)

Graham Carey (77)

Yellow Cards:

Yann Songo'o ( (85)

Red Card: None

Ball Possession: 53%

MoM: n/a

Attendance 6,269 (1,461 Plymouth fans right)

Gillingham 5

Josh Parker (7)

Tom Eaves (30, 36, 51)

Elliott List (90+1)

Yellow Cards:

Gabriel Zakuani (45)

Conor Wilkinson (84)

Red Card: None

Ball Possession: 47%

MoM: Tom Eaves

Gills finished their League One campaign in style by beating Play-off hopefuls Plymouth by rattling in five goals that included a hat-trick by top scorer Tom Eaves. It was a creative team performance that was showcased with three first half goals that crushed the Pilgrims.

Only Gills fifth home victory of the season but meant that fans went home happy knowing  that the Gills team got some things right even if it was the last game of the season.

Visitors Plymouth had to win and win well and then hope that results went their way for them to achieve a Play-off position. Gills on the other hand were looking for their first win in twelve and for revenge for the December defeat at Home Park by a cruel lat minute goal.

In the end Gills dominated proceedings and a superb hat-trick by top scorer Tom Eaves plus two other well taken goals from Josh Parker and Elliott List was enough to crush the spirit of the Pilgrims.

The Tom Eaves hat-trick, scored in a twenty minutes spell between the 30th and 50th surged Gills to victory in an exciting last game of the season. The Gills biggest home win of the season with their five goal haul sent the supporters home with encouraging signs that next season will be better fare at Priestfield and beyond.

Steve Lovell named an unchanged starting XI from the team that secured League One safety away at Bristol Rovers a week earlier.

It took them just seven minutes to take the lead and rock Plymouth when a slick passing movement, driven forward by Lee Martin from midfield found an alert Josh Parker out on the left.

Running in on the Town End goal Josh steadied himself before smashing the ball low past goalie Matthews into the net.

Fourteen minutes later after Plymouth had regained some degree of control the Pilgrims equalised through Joel Grant. A free-kick cam into the Gills  area and wasn’t dealt wit by the defence and with the Gills unable to clear their lines Joel Grant managed to be alert enough to prod the ball over the line at the despite the efforts of Max Ehmer to scramble it clear.

Gills were looking lively and with Plymouth a little scrappy in midfield trying to force openings due to their need to score the Pilgrims conceded another goal on 30 minutes. A long ball out of the Gills defence by Max Ehmer was badly misjudged by Plymouth’s Vyner leaving Gills striker Tom Eaves in space down the left and he rushed free of defenders before cooly hitting the ball low past Matthews.

six minutes later and Gills were 3-1 in the lead following a decent effort by Callum Reilly who forced a corner. This was quickly taken short by Mark Byrne to Callum Reilly out on the left of the Town End goal. A superb cross deep to the far post deceived the Plymouth defence but was met by Tom Eaves and his headed effort hit the post and rebounded into the goal past Matthews.

Playing with no pressure Gills were entertaining and very nearly scored their fourth when a cross from Luke O’Neill was missed by inches by Josh Parker as he slid in on goal. Plymouth were reduced to long range efforts and wasted two opportunities from well placed free-kick positions.

Half-Time: Gills 3 (Josh Parker, Tom Eaves 2) v Plymouth 1 (Joel Grant)

Six minutes into the second period and Tom Eaves completed his hat-trick when nodding in Gills fourth goal. A long throw from Mark Byrne was neatly flicked on by Max Ehmer at the Rainham End near post and the Gills striker was unmarked at the far post to nod past keeper Matthews.

Josh Parker nearly scored another with a great run forward but he was denied by goalie Matthews. The game was drifting toward an easy Gills win but Plymouth forced another goal.

On 77 minutes Gills were guilty of letting a long throw into their area not being cleared and the ball was headed past Tomas Holy by Graham Carey who ghosted in at the near post and the Gills goalie was left with no chance to save Plymouth scoring their second of the afternoon.

Despite the disappointment of allowing Plymouth back into the game Gills were still piling forward looking for more goals. Josh Parker came close to increasing the Gills lead and he in-turn supplied Mark Byrne in the in the area but his effort was fired just over the bar.

Manager Steve Lovell replaced Josh Parker with Elliott List with eight minutes to go and Luke O’Neill released the substitute winger and he ran free down the right wing into the Rainham End area. He didn’t hesitate and as Matthews came out to narrow the angle Elliott List superbly powered a low shot into the far corner of the net. This was his second goal in as many games and registered Gills fifth goal of the afternoon for the first time this season.

This was a deserved victory topped off with five goals against one of the better teams in League One and the departing Priestfield crowd were happy in the knowledge that next season...