Gillingham Town fall to Willand Rovers despite Gills comeback
A dominant Willand Rovers swept aside Gillingham Town - who were playing at Hardings Lane for the first time in over three months.
The Gills had not managed a home league game since November due to adverse weather conditions, but 97 spectators turned up at a bitterly cold afternoon in North Dorset.
The in-form visitors dominated from the start and a good save from Gills goalkeeper Jamie Beale denied James Ansell from opening the scoring.
Immediately after, the Dorset side took the lead against the run of play when Ben Thompson outpaced the Willand defence and hit a low drive past Ryan Draper.
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It didn't take the visitors long to draw level when Steve Orchard was given time to shoot on the edge of the area, with his shot beating Beale's attempted save.
Willand were given a stroke of luck when Jack Vallis tangled with Orchard on the edge of the penalty area, and the referee pointed to the spot - much to the disgust of Gillingham, who thought the foul had taken place outside the area.
Vallis luckily escaped with a yellow card, but James Ansell stepped up and sent Beale the wrong way from the penalty spot to give Willand a 2-1 lead.
Gillingham pushed for an equaliser after the break, but the visitors pushed further ahead mid-way through the second period when Owen Howe latched onto a long ball and calmly slotted the ball home.
Gillingham increased the pressure and found a lifeline when Ben Thompson slid the ball under Draper to cut the deficit to one goal.
However, the Gills ran out of time and Willand took the three points in the Western League Premier Division.