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Match Reports

Hull City 1-1 Gillingham: Match Report

27 March 2021

Hull City were held to a 1-1 draw by Gillingham at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday.

The Tigers had taken an early lead through a Tom Eaves header, but they were pegged back after the break as their lead at the top of Sky Bet League One was cut to a single point.

Grant McCann made two changes to his side following the draw at Shrewsbury Town seven days earlier. With Gavin Whyte away on international duty Eaves came in to play against his former club, and with Reece Burke missing out Regan Slater also came into the side. That meant a switch to centre back for Alfie Jones with Slater playing in midfield, while Eaves played central in a front three. Under-23s' duo Ahmed Salam, who signed a new deal in midweek, and Callum Jones were drafted in on the bench.

John Akinde flashed a shot wide for the visitors inside the opening 15 seconds, while at the other end Eaves went close with a fourth-minute shot from inside the box following good work from Lewie Coyle down the right.

Vadaine Oliver struck the woodwork for the Gills after a game of pinball inside the box and an all-action start continued as the Tigers took a ninth-minute lead. Mallik Wilks lofted a ball over to the far post where Eaves sent a downward header back across goal and just inside the upright.

Eaves went close to a second on 18 minutes. George Honeyman's driving run from deep took him into the Gillingham box before a cross-shot was touched against the outside of the post by the front man.

Jacob Greaves picked up a booking for a foul on Akinde by the touchline, giving the visitors an opportunity to load the box as they had done for some troublesome long throws throughout the opening period. Tom O'Connor delivered the set-piece towards the far stick where Matt Ingram did really well to punch it away and win a free kick in the process.

Greg Docherty fired over from 12 yards after getting on the end of Honeyman's low corner moments before the break as the home side took their one-goal lead into the interval.

It was a quieter start to the second half, but Gillingham remained a threat from dead-ball situations although it was a set-piece of their own that should have brought the home side a second goal. Honeyman's delivery was flicked on at the near post by Keane Lewis-Potter for Jacob Greaves to come steaming in to send a header against the bar from close range.

Wilks knocked a difficult chance wide from Lewis-Potter's ball in, before Gillingham equalised in the 67th minute. It came from a corner as substitute Ollie Lee got on the end of a nod-down to finish from close range.

A low Wilks cross was diverted into the side-netting by Connor Ogilvie, while Eaves saw a header saved by Jack Bonham as McCann's men looked to regain the initiative.

Bonham then made a good stop to keep out Lewie Coyle's deflected effort before a first substitution saw James Scott replace Eaves 11 minutes from time.

Lewis-Potter was just off target with a header from a Honeyman cross, and the same two combined again moments later with the same result although this time it was a side-footed effort.

Jones required lengthy treatment after taking a hefty blow to a head when challenging for Honeyman's free kick into the box, leading to Sean McLoughlin's introduction and a lot more added time than the five minutes initially signalled by the fourth official.

Gillingham almost won the game with the last action but Ingram managed to keep the ball out of his net as it finished 1-1.

Hull City: Matt Ingram; Lewie Coyle ©, Alfie Jones (Sean McLoughlin 90), Jacob Greaves, Callum Elder; Regan Slater, Greg Docherty, George Honeyman; Mallik Wilks, Tom Eaves (James Scott 79), Keane Lewis-Potter.

Subs Not Used: George Long, Josh Emmanuel, Daniel Crowley, Callum Jones, Ahmed Salam.

Gillingham: Jack Bonham, Ryan Jackson, Connor Ogilvie, Stuart O’Keefe, Jack Tucker, Kyle Dempsey, Jordan Graham (Dominic Samuel 84), John Akinde (Ollie Lee 61), Alex MacDonald (Robbie McKenzie 82), Vadaine Oliver, Tom O’Connor.

Subs Not Used: Sacha Bastien, Matthew Willock, Tyreke Johnson, Henry Woods.

Referee: Mr M. Coy.

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