LiveRECAP: Gillingham 2 Doncaster Rovers 2: Rovers recover to earn point at Priestfield

Doncaster Rovers recovered from a shambolic start to earn a point at Gillingham.

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 12:00 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th March 2021, 5:10 pm
Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium. Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Some abysmal defending allowed Jordan Graham and Vadaine Oliver to put the Gills 2-0 up after just four minutes.

But Tom Anderson headed home after 19 minutes and James Coppinger’s smart finish four minutes later ultimately earned Rovers a share of the spoils and ended a sequence of five straight away defeats.

Recap all the action below.

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Gillingham v Doncaster Rovers

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Gillingham 2 Doncaster Rovers 2

Last updated: Saturday, 20 March, 2021, 16:58

GOALS: Graham (2), Oliver (4), Anderson (19), Coppinger (23)

GILLINGHAM: Bonham; Jackson, Cundy, Tucker, Ogilvie; Graham, Dempsey, O’Keefe, MacDonald; Akinde (Lee 70), Oliver. Subs: Bastien, Woods, McKenzie, O’Connor, Johnson, Willock.

ROVERS: Jones; Halliday, Wright, Anderson, Horton; Smith, James; Sims (Lokilo 68), Coppinger (Richards 60), Okenabirhie (Gomes 88); Bogle. Subs: Balcombe, John, Greaves, Robertson.

That is a pretty decent point for Rovers, keeping one of the chasing pack at a distance and ending their poor run away from home.

Given the horrendous start to the game, rescuing a point from that positive was always going to be somewhat of a positive, even if Rovers could easily have ended the first half ahead.

They battled well, showed great character and produced a much better attacking show in a competitive environment than they have for a while.

And it ends all square here

SEVEN minutes

Madger Gomes replaces Fejiri Okenabirhie


Jordan Graham curled in a cross from the left that everyone in the Rovers defence left, watching it bounce off the post. It ran back out to Kyle Dempsey who lashed a low effort with Joe Wright throwing himself in front of the shot to turn it over the bar.

Fejiri Okenabirhie, Doncaster Rovers

Brad Halliday feeds in a ball to Jason Lokilo, who takes a tumble in the box. The ball breaks back to Halliday who slams a low shot, which was cleared off the line by Stuart O’Keefe. Lokilo then hooked the ball back across from on the floor, with Fejiri Okenabirhie heading wide.

Jason Lokilo is on for Josh Sims

65min Anyone’s game, this

This game really could go either way. Gillingham are having the better of things at the moment and it’s a bombardment of the Rovers box.

But Rovers are getting opportunities to break too.

Joe Wright clears an effort off the line from Alex MacDonald

Taylor Richards replaces James Coppinger.

Coppinger had signalled to Andy Butler a few minutes earlier.

Vadaine Oliver powers a header wide from another of Ryan Jackson’s ridiculously long throws

4.02pm Back underway

Gillingham’s Jordan Graham takes the kick-off

3.50 So, so much better

And who would have thought we’d have been saying that five minutes into this game.

It had been about as bad a start to the game as Rovers could have mustered as they found themselves two goals down thanks to some awful defending.

But they responded superbly and have looked much more like their old selves since.

The tempo in the play has been there, as has the determination to move the ball forward quickly and get on the front foot rather than pondering on the ball. Gillingham have struggled to contain them at times and Rovers easily could have been ahead by the break.

They have to maintain the approach in the second half and they have a real opportunity to get back to winning ways.

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