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Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Gillingham: Gills fight hard but lose out at Ewood Park

Gillingham worked tirelessly but lost out by a single goal to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park



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Gillingham dropped to 23rd out of 24 in League One after a 1-0 defeat to promotion-chasing Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Dominic Samuel netted the only goal of the game just after the half-hour mark of a first half that was dominated by the hosts.

Samuel had a successful loan spell at Priestfield during the 2015/16 season, netting seven goals from 25 appearances. And, after Gillingham failed to clear a corner, it was the former Gills loanee whose scuffed shot rolled over the line to give Blackburn the breakthrough.

Despite Rovers’ territorial domination in the first half, Gillingham were able to repel borders for the majority of the contest, with the reshuffled back four of Connor Ogilvie, Ben Nugent, Gabriel Zakuani and makeshift right-back Mark Byrne working overtime to keep the hosts at bay.

Elliott List was dropped to the bench, despite his impressive performance against Scunthorpe earlier in the week, as Peter Taylor brought captain Lee Martin back into the side following his suspension.

Also back in the starting lineup were Josh Parker and Conor Wilkinson, but neither forward was able to give Gillingham a priceless away goal to hang on to.

The equaliser very nearly came in the game’s final minutes when substitute List forced Rovers’ Spanish goalkeeper David Raya into a smart save and another young sub, defender Finn O’Mara, fired his follow-up effort into the side netting.

It proved to be the closest the Gills would come to a goal on an afternoon full of endeavour, but lacking in quality when it really mattered.

Gills XI vs Blackburn

Holy, Byrne (O’Mara 59), Zakuani, Nugent, Ogilvie, Ehmer, Hessenthaler, Martin, Clare (List 70), Parker, Wilkinson (Cundle 75)
Unused subs: Oldaker, Simpson, Arnold, Starkey