Sky Bet League 1
Gillingham 1 (Marquis 72)
Bradford City 0
Kick Off: 3.00pm
at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium
Attendance: 5,221 (312 visitors)
Phil Parkinson's Bantams suffered a potentially damaging defeat for their Play-Off chances this season after going down at Gillingham thanks to a single second half strike from home substitute John Marquis.
Marquis curled a delightful effort into the top corner from around the edge of the box midway into the second period to snatch all three points for Justin Edinburgh's side.
The defeat was harsh on Parkinson's men, who dominated the first half in particular and could have took the lead on more than one occasion.
Billy Clarke was denied early on by a fine save from Glenn Morris, while Jon Stead saw his header from a Billy Knott corner cleared off the line by Doug Loft later in the half.
The Bantams' best opportunity of the opening period came just before the break when James Hanson had his own header whipped off the line by Cody McDonald from another Knott corner. Stead tried to scramble the loose ball over the line but his close range effort on the rebound just stopped from going over the line by an alert Morris.
There was still time in the half for Clarke to try to play Stead through on goal but the striker couldn't quite get away from the clutches of Gillingham defender Max Ehmer and Morris was able to smother the ball just in front of him.
City's dominance in the match continued into the second period, with Rory McArdle and Hanson threatening from corners shortly after the restart, but the introduction of Marquis from the Gills bench just after the hour mark sparked an upturn in the hosts' fortunes.
Gillingham first threatened after the arrival of Marquis when the pace of Jermaine McGlashan helped to get him clear of James Meredith and pick out Cody McDonald in the area but a great saving tackle from Stephen Darby denied the striker.
McDonald then teed up Marquis roughly ten minutes but the substitute attacker's first time drive from inside the area was repelled by Ben Williams.
Marquis wasn't to be denied for long, however, when he curled a fine strike past Williams from Gillingham's next attack after picking up McDonald's lay-off.
The lively Millwall loanee nearly had a similar goal five minutes later but his stunning goal-bound effort was headed clear off the line by Darby to prevent the ball from finding the top corner.
Parkinson threw on attackers Francois Zoko, Mark Yeates and then apprentice striker Reece Webb-Foster in game's final stages but City couldn't engineer an opening to trouble Morris.
FT: Gillingham 1 Bradford City 0
90min: There will be four minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
90min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Reece Webb-Foster for MacKenzie.
88min: Loft's in-swinging wide free-kick delivery is taken on the goal-line itself by Williams.
79min: SUB - The Bantams have brought on Mark Yeates and Francois Zoko for Liddle and Morais respectively.
75min: Marquis plays the ball into the path of Dickenson inside the area but his low drive is repelled by Williams. The ball comes back into path of Marquis, who curls the ball for goal from just inside the box but his delightful effort is prevented from finding the top corner by a fine header off the line by Darby.
72min: GOAL - Gillingham 1 Bradford City 0 - Substitute Marquis has given the Gills lead. McDonald lays the ball off into the path of Marquis, who curls a delightful effort into the corner from the edge of the box.
72min: McDonald leads a Gillingham counter-attack as he skips past MacKenzie before playing the ball across the area for Marquis. The Gills sub shoots first time but his low effort is saved by Williams.
71min: SUB - Gillingham bring on Brennan Dickenson for Bell.
67min: Darby produces a superb goal-saving tackle to deny McDonald! McGlashan uses his pace to beat Meredith to Marquis long ball forward before playing the ball across the area towards McDonald. With Williams out of position as he went to close down McGlashan, McDonald looks to have an unguarded goal to aim at but Darby gets back into position to make a superb blocked tackle.
66min: James Meredith's long throw-in into the area is flicked on by the head of Hanson but Aaron Morris is able get a header of his own on the ball to flick away.
63mins: SUBS - Gillingham bring on John Marquis and Aaron Morris for Hessenthaler and Norris respectively.
61min: Clarke's ball forward tries to pick out Hanson but Morris is out of his area quickly to intercept. Morris' first touch is loose, however, and Hanson looks to close him down but the goalkeeper is able just about find Egan in time and the danger is over for the hosts.
55min: Knott's effort on goal direct from a free kick around 25 yards out is held by Morris.
52min: Norris' low angled drive from just outside the area is held by Williams at the second attempt.
51min: Stead's shot from just inside the box on his left foot rolls wide of Morris' near post.
50min: City threaten again from a corner! Knott's corner delivery is met by Hanson but his header from just outside the box sails over.
48min: McArdle sends a thumping header narrowly over the bar from around seven yards out following Knott's corner!
46min: Gillingham restart the match.
HT: Gillingham 0 Bradford City 0
45min: There will be four minutes added on at the end of the first half, mainly due to three stoppages during the first period because of knocks to Legge, Hanson and Norris.
45min: Stead looks like he is through on goal after latching onto Clarke's well-timed pass but the alert Max Ehmer denies the City striker a clear run on goal and Morris is able to dive out and smother the ball just ahead of Stead.
43min: City denied again! Hanson's towering header from a Knott corner is kicked off the line by McDonald. Stead looks to fire in the rebound but his close range effort is somehow kept out on the line by Morris.
40min: Cody McDonald tries to turn away from McArdle for a clear strike on Williams' goal after latching onto Loft's ball forward but a great last-ditch tackle from the City defender stops the Gillingham striker in his tracks.
32min: Clarke takes control of a bouncing ball inside the Gillingham half before dinking in a half-volley that deflects onto the roof of Morris' net for a corner.
27min: MacKenzie's diving header from another Knott corner bounces comfortably wide of goal.
25min: Stead's header from a Knott corner is headed off the line by Loft!
24min: Williams has to play it safe and tip over Norris' hanging delivery from a cross right by the byline.
23min: YELLOW CARD - Hanson is booked for catching Legge late in the air as the pair again challenge for an aerial ball.
22min: Williams gets a hand onto Loft's delivery into the area from a wide free-kick but Egan keeps the ball in play still over by the far side. Gillingham try to keep the ball alive but City are eventually able to clear their lines.
19min: Knott's ball into the area from the resulting free-kick delivery is helped on by Gary MacKenzie into the path of Clarke. The Irish attacker hooks the ball across the six yard box from the byline on the half volley but Morris is able to claim possession to prevent a diving McArdle from stealing in.
19min: YELLOW CARD - Legge is booked for clattering into Hanson as the pair challenge for an aerial ball.
15min: Leon Legge's close range header from a flighted far post Doug Loft corner delivery deflects wide off and behind for a goal-kick off his own player.
13min: Jon Stead's fizzing ball across the six yard box is crucially put behind for a corner by Amari'i Bell to prevent Filipe Morais stealing in at the far post for a close range effort.
13min: Stephen Darby's driven ball towards the far post is headed wide by a couple of yards by James Hanson while under pressure from former Bantams loanee John Egan.
12min: Jermaine McGlashan's hanging cross is met by Luke Norris but his header on the stretch goes comfortably into Williams' near post side-netting.
10min: Jake Hessenthaler's shot on the turn from around seven yards out takes a slight deflection off the out-stretched boot of Rory McArdle before Ben Williams carries the ball over the line by his near post for a corner.
9min: Morris' attempted clearance forward hits the back of Clarke as he goes to close the goalkeeper down just outside the box. The ball bounces free just outside Gillingham's area but the hosts are crucially first to the ball and able to clear their lines.
6min: Billy Clarke denied by a great save from Glenn Morris! After receiving the ball from Billy Knott inside the area, Clarke turns into shooting space but his low drive from around ten yards out is kept out by a fine one-handed save low to his right by Morris.
0min: The Bantams kick off the match.
GILLINGHAM LINE UP:
G Morris, Egan, Legge, Ehmer, Bell, McGlashan, Loft, Hessenthaler, Dack, Norris, McDonald
Subs: Nelson, Marquis, A Morris, Muldoon, Pritchard, Dickenson, Hoyte
Marquis for Hessenthaler (63), A Morris for Norris (63), Dickenson for Bell (71)
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP:
Williams, Darby, McArdle, MacKenzie, Meredith, Morais, Liddle, Knott, Clarke, Hanson, Stead
Subs: Urwin, Dolan, Zoko, Yeates, Halliday, McMahon, Webb-Foster
Bradford City cautions:
Bradford City changes:
Yeates for Liddle (79), Zoko for Morais (79), Webb-Foster for MacKenzie (90)
Referee: P Tierney
Assistant Referee: A Dale
Assistant Referee: A Degnarain
Fourth Official: N Lugg