More dismay at Priestfield as Dons lose to Gillingham

Gillingham 3-2 MK Dons

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 8:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 8:14 pm

Dons' miserable record at Priestfield continued on Tuesday night as they were beaten 3-2 by Gillingham

Despite Will Grigg's excellent opener after just four minutes, Gillingham levelled from the spot through Jordan Graham, before Vadaine Oliver fired the home side ahead on 44 minutes. Warren O'Hora levelled five minutes into first-half stoppage time, but no-one picked up Connor Ogilvie 16 minutes from time as he lashed home from just inside the box to continue Dons' awful run in Kent.

The result means Steve Evans' side climb above Dons in the table, dropping them to 15th.

New signing Josh McEachran was named among the substitutes as Russell Martin made three changes to his starting line-up. Will Grigg and Cameron Jerome returned up front in place of Joe Mason and Charlie Brown, while Daniel Harvie, who limped out at half-time against Oxford on Saturday, was replaced by Zak Jules.

Having lost five of their seven previous meetings at the home of Gillingham, things could not have gotten off to a better start for Dons when Will Grigg finished a brilliant 55-pass move just four minutes in to give the visitors an early lead but it would be an injury to Ryan Jackson which would spark the hosts into life.

Able to give instructions to the core of his team, Steve Evans' side looked far more lively and gave Dons none of the same time they were afforded on the ball in that opening 10 minute period.

While neither side created a lot in front of goal, it was with a stroke of bad luck for the visitors which saw Gillingham draw level from the penalty spot when Warren O'Hora was judged to have handled in the box. Jordan Graham fired in from the spot on 27 minutes.

That pressure from the home side continued in the run up to the break, and when Andrew Surman looked to head back to Andrew Fisher from 25 yards, Vadaine Oliver nipped in to slot past the keeper and give Gillingham the lead.

But with six minutes of stoppage time added on, Dons used it to their advantage as O'Hora turned home Grigg's low ball into the box to equalise on the stroke of half-time.

Dons looked to be in the ascendency once again in the early stages in the second half, but failed to capitalise on two good chances – the best of them falling to Surman when he was headed in by Jerome but he somehow lifted the ball over the top.

Russell Martin made a triple change with 16 minutes remaining but with the three new men still settling, Gillingham retook the lead when Dons failed to deal with a long throw, allowing Connor Ogilvie to lash in a third.

Much huff-and-puff from Dons in the latter stages saw them hem Gillingham into their own half for much of the remainder of the half, and were denied a point when Jack Bonham tipped over Matt O'Riley's fierce shot deep into stoppage time.

Referee: Sam Purkiss

Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Ogilvie, O'Keefe, Tucker, Dempsey, Graham, Lee (McKenzie 83), Oliver (Akinde 85), O'Connor, Cundy

Subs not used: Bastien, Morton, Willock, Johnson, Woods

MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington (Brown 89), O'Hora, Darling, Laird, Jules (Sorinola 78), Surman (McEachran 73), O'Riley, Fraser, Grigg (Houghton 73), Jerome (Mason 73)

Subs not used: Nicholls, Gladwin

Booked: O'Keefe