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22:28 21st September 2013
By  Luke Gallagher

Gillingham 0 Bradford City 1

City sealed their first away victory of the season with a hard fought victory ay Gillingham. Gary Jones' corner somehow found its way into the net in the 8th minute and it was the only goal needed for Phil Parkinson’s men to record three points. The Bantams were the better side in the first half as the hosts hustled and bustled in search for a second half equaliser. It never came for The Kent club as City held on for a win that pushed them back up into the play-off places.

City were looking encouragingly bright early on and Nahki Wells was the first to really test Gillingham’s defensive resolve; a ball over the top from Gary Jones was latched onto by the Bermudian and after cutting inside Leon Legge he saw his shot blocked away by stopper Stuart Nelson.

The visitors kept threatening early on and went ahead on 8 minutes. After Kyel Reid’s shot was blocked behind by Michael Harriman, the resulting corner taken by Jones found its way into the far corner of the net.

Nathan Doyle was the next to try his luck as City looked to capitalise on a great spell of pressure early on and after picking up a loose ball 20 yards from goal he curled a shot narrowly wide of the bottom corner with Nelson a helpless spectator.

Gills’ skipper Adam Barrett thought he had equalised on the 24th minute but was denied by an outstanding save from Jon McLaughlin; a free kick into the area wasn’t dealt with and Barrett swung a volley towards goal from 12 yards out but McLaughlin was alert enough to keep the ball out.

On 31 minutes James Hanson really should’ve doubled City’s lead; Garry Thompson whipped a delightful cross into the area and unmarked, Hanson headed the ball wide from merely a couple of yards out. An uncharacteristic aerial miss from him.

Adebayo Akinfenwa and Cody McDonald linked up well for the first time in the game as the former chested down for the latter to scoop a volley on the turn over the bar from the edge of the area on the stroke of half time.

City thought they had a major shout for a penalty early in the second half; Harriman was dispossessed by Kyel Reid who surged into the area before going down under a challenge from Legge, the 442 away supporters behind the goal certainly thought it was a penalty but referee Lee Collins didn’t think so.

Another penalty appeal came shortly after when Garry Thompson went down under a challenge from Legge but the ref was having none of it and when Danny Hollands went down under a challenge from Andrew Davies seconds later at the other end the ref waved that away also.

Gillingham should’ve equalised a couple of minutes later; Akinfenwa attempted an overhead kick and the ball dropped kindly to McDonald who scooped a shot over the bar from only a couple of yards out.

Cody McDonald thought he had a goal nailed on with his next opportunity; he latched onto a through ball and he rounded McLaughlin who came racing out of his goal to try and stop him and with the goal gaping the flag belatedly went up for offside to let City off the hook.

Nahki Wells was looking spritely despite the game coming to a close and after latching onto Doyle’s pass he proceeded to scoop a shot over the bar from 15 yards out. A minute later he received Jones’ cross field ball before cutting inside and seeing a powerful angled shot tipped onto the bar by Nelson.

Mark Yeates was introduced as a late substitution and made an impact forcing Nelson into a smart save to keep his 20 yard shot at bay before seeing a dangerous shot blocked – Wells’ follow up was clawed away by the Gills’ skipper on this occasion but City still managed to brave through a lengthy spell of additional time to claim three points.