Gillingham 1-4 MK Dons: Thumping win for Dons moves them up to third

Gillingham 1-4 MK Dons

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 5:03 pm

Gillingham 1-4 MK Dons: Twine, Kioso, Parrott and Watters hit the back of the net for Liam Manning’s side in the League One clash at Priestfield

Dons dispelled their Priestfield ghosts on Saturday as they thumped 10-man GIllingham 4-1 to move third in League One.

Despite falling behind to Vadaine Oliver's 20th minute header, Stuart O'Keefe was given his marching orders for a second booking when he hauled back Scott Twine in the area - Twine missed the spot kick but finished the rebound after Jamie Cumming's save.

Peter Kioso fired in his first goal for the club since arriving on transfer deadline day seven minutes before half time to give Dons the lead going in at the break, before second half strikes from Troy Parrott and Max Watters saw Dons to only their second win in nine attempts at Priestfield.

Following last Saturday's 1-0 win over Portsmouth, Dons made just one change ot the side, bringing back Peter Kioso at right wing-back in place of Tennai Watson.

Gillingham have made a poor start to the season, with just one league win to their name prior to kick off, but goals in the first 20 minutes have been something of their forte. Add to that Dons' poor form at Priestfield too, it was almost inevitable they would fall behind and so they did when Vadaine Oliver was left completely unmarked at the far post to nod in Alex MacDonald's cross at the second attempt.

It was a poor goal for Dons to concede and the game threatened to fall into a pattern more akin to the home side's strengths, but two moments of madness from former Dons loanee Stuart O'Keefe saw him booked twice in quick succession not only to see Gillingham reduced to 10 men, but also get Dons back on level terms. After initially throwing the ball away after he fouled Scott Twine, his second offence was haul back the Dons midfielder in the penalty area as he shaped to shoot to give up a penalty.

Twine fired his penalty in but keeper Jamie Cumming did well to save it but the rebound fell kindly for the taker, who smashed in the equaliser on 28 minutes.

On top both in terms of momentum and numbers, Dons looked to capitalise on their advantage and did so nine minutes later when Peter Kioso lashed home his first goal for the club, getting on the end of Matt O'Riley's pass.

The early stages of the second half saw Dons prodding and poking to find a third, but a deep-sitting Gillingham back six kept them by and large at bay. Parrott twice got in behind but was first just beaten to it by keeper Cumming before then firing into the side netting with his net chance.

Offering precious little really, the hosts were almost gifted a goal when O'Riley's ball back to the keeper was intercepted by Oliver, but a brave stop from Andrew Fisher managed to keep Dons' narrow lead in tact.

Riding Gillingham's spell of pressure though, Dons put the game to bed when Parrott's deflected shot looped over Cumming with nine minutes to go to effectively put the game to bed.

Max Watters, who came on with half an hour to go, put the icing on the cake with two minutes remaining too, finishing off at the second attempt to make it 4-1 as Dons climb to third spot.

Referee: John Busby

Gillingham: Cumming, Tutonda (Bennett 46), O'Keefe, Ehmer, Ticker, MacDonald, Dempsey, Kelman (Reeves 36), McKenzie, Adshead (Sithole 54), Oliver

Subs not used: Chapman, Lee, Lloyd

MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington, Darling, O'Hora, Harvie, Kioso (Watson 76), Robson (McEachran 85), O'Riley, Boateng (Watters 60), Twine, Parrott

Subs not used: Ravizzoli, Jules, Watson, McEachran, Brown, Martin

Booked: O'Keefe, Robson, Kioso, Tucker

Sent off: O'Keefe