Gills earn win in first home match: Match report & analysis versus Bury

Gillingham have continued their excellent start to the 2016/17 season with a 2-1 victory against Bury in the first game at Priestfield.

An early goal from right-back Ryan Jackson and an own goal led the Gills to make it three wins from three, despite a half-hearted attempt of a comeback from the visitors.

Supporters saw the first goal at home come in just six minutes after kick-off. Summer recruit Mark Byrne slid in a ball through Bury’s defence to Jackson, who had both eyes only on getting a shot away. He was able to do so as the defender put the ball past goalkeeper Ben Williams to give Gillingham an early advantage. It could have been one apiece just moments later though as Tom Pope sent a cross into the box, only for the experienced Paul Konchesky to head it over.

It took the best part of a quarter of an hour for the visitors to get their first real chance. A free-kick from midfielder Jacob Mellis looked to be going into the top-left corner but Stuart Nelson, who’s come under a lot of criticism from supporters for his two mistakes in both games against Southend United, comfortably caught the ball to deny Bury an equaliser.

A strong end to the first-half for the Gills as Emmanuel Osadebe headed a Konchesky cross towards goal but the crossbar got in the Irishman’s way before being cleared by the opposing defence. Another chance had arisen as Billy Knott found captain Josh Wright, who’s spectacular volley from the edge of the box was equalled to by the ‘keeper. Justin Edinburgh’s side went into the interval a goal ahead and on top.

Gillingham failed to have any proper chance until twelves minutes into the second-half, when Jackson found yards of free space on the right before sending in a low cross – only for Bury defender Antony Kay to get the first touch and send it past Williams in goal. The Gills doubled their lead thanks to the own goal.

Nine minutes later and Bury found themselves just one goal behind as a mixture between poor defending and good attacking play led to Tom Pope powerfully heading into the far corner after receiving the ball on the far-post from a cross. The visitors were determined to get a draw as a minimum out of the game but despite all effort the Gills were able to see the match out and keep the score line at 2-1.

Justin Edinburgh’s line-up: Nelson, Jackson, Oshilaja, Pask, Konchesky, Wright, Knott (Hessenthaler, 79), Osadebe, Byrne, Emmanuel-Thomas (Donnelly, 78), McDonald (Quigley, 86)

Unused Subs: Hadler, O’Hara, Oldaker, Dickenson

Player Analysis
As usual, I’ll be looking at a few players in detail and looking at how effective their performance was. Firstly, I’m going to start off with England’s number one – Stuart Nelson. The ever-present looked determined to put doubters wrong after his mistake against Southend last week. I thought he did very well against Bury, didn’t have anything too much challenging other than the free-kick from 25 yards out which he comfortably dealt with. Bury’s goal had nothing to do with Nelson and even the best goalkeeper’s out there could do very little stop that one.
 18 year-old Josh Pask reportedly had a good game in the EFL Cup on Tuesday after joining the day before on-loan from West Ham. Today he was a very suitable replacement for Max Ehmer, who’s out as a precaution following a head injury suffered midweek. Other than the goal, where he could have been closer to the forward, Pask was very solid in my opinion and if Ehmer is not back for the Swindon game I wouldn’t mind the youngster back in the starting line-up.
Midfielder Emmnauel Osadebe gave it his all, as always, today against Bury. He brought that energetic boost the midfield sometimes lacks. My only concern from his performance is his decision-making. Osadebe seems to struggle when it comes to deciding when to pass, where to pass or when he should shoot. He is still young so I’m going to give the lad more time but to improve should have his head up more rather than on the ball.
JET, or Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, had a completely opposite performance from the game last Saturday. Reports of him being lazy seemed to be true in this game, didn’t really run at Bury’s defence but when he did the ball was given away very easily. It’s hard to understand whether that’s his normal performance or if he had an ‘off-day’.
The Gills are top of the league! And it’s our ‘best friends’ who visit on Tuesday as we welcome Swindon Town.
All pictures are mine, apologies for poor quality.





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