Cody McDonald's early goal helped lift Gillingham to the top of League Two League with victory over Northampton.

The hosts led when McDonald, making his first start since returning to Priestfield, tapped home following Matt Fish's long ball.

Clive Platt twice wasted good opportunities to level as the visitors went in search of an equaliser.

But Myles Weston sealed the victory in the closing stages, lashing the ball in off the post.

The result means Gillingham return to the summit of League Two, while Northampton drop out of the top three.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Gillingham manager Martin Allen told BBC Radio Kent:

"It was extremely difficult with the wind swirling. I thought both teams played really well but we got the breaks and the three points so happy days.

"The threat of getting our centre forward behind their defenders was something we practiced. We highlighted those passes in behind.

"To be ten points clear of fourth place is some going. More than anything, the run we've had here starts to get on everybody's back.

"The happiness in the dressing room is the sort of dressing room we want."

Northampton Town manager Aidy Boothroyd told BBC Radio Northampton:

"Gillingham are at the top of the league for a reason because generally they get results.

"But what I've always believed about our team is that performances overall will get you success.

"If we perform like we did in the first half - or indeed for a lot of the game - we're not going to be too far away.

"Of course we want to be up at the top of the league and pushing for promotion, but we have got to take stock."

Match Stats

Shots

7 7

On target

4 3

Corners

3 7

Fouls

13 6

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +6:36 Full time

Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.

90:00 +5:54

Clive Platt challenges Adam Barrett unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stuart Nelson takes the free kick.

90:00 +5:02 Booking

Booking Joe Widdowson is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +2:29

The offside flag is raised against Clive Platt. Stuart Nelson takes the free kick.

90:00 +1:05

Chris Hackett gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Whelpdale. Free kick taken by Stuart Nelson.

90:00 +0:29

Free kick awarded for a foul by Andy Frampton on Clive Platt. Free kick taken by Ben Tozer.

89:47

Foul by Matt Fish on Joe Widdowson, free kick awarded. Lee Nicholls takes the indirect free kick.

88:50 Substitution

Substitution Charlie Allen joins the action as a substitute, replacing Charlie Lee.

84:41 Substitution

Substitution Myles Weston goes off and Danny Kedwell comes on.

84:41

Ben Harding takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Joe Martin. Inswinging corner taken by Chris Hackett, clearance by Joe Martin.

83:18

Stuart Nelson provided the assist for the goal.

83:18 Goal scored

Goal! - Myles Weston - Gillingham 2 - 0 Northamp'n Myles Weston grabs a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Gillingham 2-0 Northampton.

82:27 Substitution

Substitution Chris Whelpdale comes on in place of Cody McDonald.

81:32

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ishmel Demontagnac by Steven Gregory. Lewis Hornby restarts play with the free kick.

79:13 Substitution

Substitution Jake Robinson goes off and Ishmel Demontagnac comes on.

78:32

Charlie Lee crosses the ball, Lee Nicholls makes a brilliant save.

76:32

Joe Widdowson produces a cross.

75:54

Free kick awarded for a foul by Andy Frampton on Clive Platt. Lee Nicholls takes the indirect free kick.

72:35

Inswinging corner taken by Chris Hackett from the left by-line, clearance by Joe Martin. Outswinging corner taken by Joe Widdowson, save by Stuart Nelson.

71:50

Charlie Lee takes a shot. Kelvin Langmead gets a block in.

68:30

The referee blows for offside. Lee Nicholls takes the free kick.

66:12

Centre by Chris Hackett, blocked by Adam Barrett. Corner taken by Ben Harding from the right by-line, Joe Martin manages to make a clearance. Corner from left by-line taken by Chris Hackett.

64:29

Free kick awarded for a foul by Cody McDonald on Joe Widdowson. Free kick taken by Lee Nicholls.

62:16 Substitution

Substitution Luke Guttridge leaves the field to be replaced by Adebayo Akinfenwa.

54:32

Unfair challenge on Joe Widdowson by Charlie Lee results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Lewis Hornby from left channel.

46:49

Shot by Ben Harding went wide of the left-hand post.

45:46

Corner from left by-line taken by Chris Hackett.

45:01

The match restarts for the second half.

45:00 +2:34 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

45:00 +1:22

Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Gregory on Luke Guttridge. Lee Nicholls takes the indirect free kick.

43:23

Steven Gregory takes a shot. Blocked by Jake Robinson. Corner from the right by-line taken by Joe Martin, save made by Lee Nicholls.

40:53

Adam Barrett concedes a free kick for a foul on Kelvin Langmead. Free kick taken by Lee Nicholls.

35:55

The ball is swung over by Chris Hackett, Header from close in by Clive Platt misses to the left of the goal.

33:36

Chris Hackett is penalised for a handball. Stuart Nelson takes the free kick.

33:13

Free kick awarded for a foul by Charlie Lee on Ben Harding. Free kick taken by Lee Nicholls.

28:53

Unfair challenge on Adam Barrett by Clive Platt results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Stuart Nelson.

27:16

Deon Burton has an effort at goal from close range which goes wide left of the target.

26:16

Jake Robinson produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.

22:11

Andy Frampton concedes a free kick for a foul on Lewis Hornby. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Widdowson.

21:08

Shot from just outside the area by Steven Gregory goes over the bar.

19:26

Jake Robinson takes a shot from inside the box clearing the bar.

18:48

Clive Platt takes a shot. Stuart Nelson makes a save.

17:11

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Joe Martin played to the near post, clearance by Kelvin Langmead.

16:27 Booking

Booking Clarke Carlisle receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.

16:15

Free kick awarded for a foul by Clarke Carlisle on Cody McDonald. Andy Frampton restarts play with the free kick.

15:34

The ball is crossed by Chris Hackett, clearance made by Leon Legge.

14:33

Jake Robinson is ruled offside. Stuart Nelson restarts play with the free kick.

13:39

Cody McDonald takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.

13:18

Shot by Luke Guttridge. Stuart Nelson makes a save.

12:43 Booking

Booking Adam Barrett is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

12:20

Unfair challenge on Clive Platt by Adam Barrett results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Joe Widdowson.

11:01

The offside flag is raised against Chris Hackett. Stuart Nelson restarts play with the free kick.

9:53

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Clive Platt by Matt Fish. Free kick crossed left-footed by Joe Widdowson, Stuart Nelson makes a save.

8:22

Unfair challenge on Luke Guttridge by Deon Burton results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Joe Widdowson from left channel.

7:10

Lewis Hornby concedes a free kick for a foul on Andy Frampton. Matt Fish takes the free kick.

6:21

Ben Harding takes a shot. Stuart Nelson makes a save.

5:53

The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Lee Nicholls.

4:57

Joe Widdowson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Charlie Lee. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Joe Martin, save by Stuart Nelson.

3:07

Assist on the goal came from Matt Fish.

3:07 Goal scored

Goal! - Cody McDonald - Gillingham 1 - 0 Northamp'n Goal scored by Cody McDonald from inside the box low into the middle of the goal. Gillingham 1-0 Northampton.

2:06

Chris Hackett produces a cross, Leon Legge manages to make a clearance.

1:07

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Joe Martin from the left by-line, clearance by Ben Tozer.

0:29

The referee blows for offside against Chris Hackett. Indirect free kick taken by Stuart Nelson.

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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