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Gillingham return to winning ways as Scott Malone strike downs 10-man Sutton

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Dec 2023

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Scott Malone’s superb second-half winner earned out-of-form Gillingham a hard-fought 1-0 victory against 10-man Sutton.

After U’s striker Harry Smith was dismissed midway through the first half, Gills substitute Malone finally broke the visitors’ resistance 18 minutes from time as the home side claimed a first win in four.

Sutton goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis produced a brilliant fingertip save to deny Ashley Nadesan after the striker went through on goal early on, before Oliver Hawkins headed wide from the resulting corner.

The struggling visitors’ best chance of the opening half came when Smith headed wide from Dion Pereira’s cross after 25 minutes.

However, a minute later and Smith was making his way off the pitch after being shown a red card by referee David Rock for a foul on Gills captain Max Ehmer.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Sutton almost went ahead approaching the hour, but substitute Lee Angol’s goal-bound effort was blocked by Conor Masterson.

The Gills, who had failed to score in taking just one point from their three previous league games, missed further opportunities through Hawkins and Ethan Coleman.

But Stephen Clemence’s side finally broke the deadlock when Malone spectacularly volleyed into the top corner after Connor Mahoney’s corner was only partially cleared.

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