Danny Kedwell's goal was enough for Gillingham to beat struggling Torquay and seal promotion to League One.

The striker scored just after half time when he showed strength to latch on to a long diagonal ball and fire across Torquay goalkeeper Martin Rice.

Gills striker Adam Birchall hit the bar in the third minute and Torquay's Rene Howe saw a shot hit the post before Adam Barrett cleared off the line.

A late free-kick from Kevin Nicholson rattled the bar but the Gills held on.

The final whistle sparked jubilant scenes at Priestfield as Gillingham, who have been top of the table for the majority of the season, sealed their first ever promotion on home soil in what is their centenary year.

With Rotherham and Northampton both losing, Kedwell, a Gillingham supporter, hit his 15th goal of the season to help the Kent club return to the third tier for the first time since 2010.

Torquay have now lost their last three games and only goal difference is keeping them out of the relegation zone.

Bottom of the table Aldershot Town are two points behind the Gulls and have two games in hand on the Plainmoor outfit.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Gillingham manager Martin Allen told BBC Radio Kent:

"Amazing feeling. The announcement that came over the whole ground [that Rotherham were losing] was a spooky, eerie couple of minutes, and the crowd and all of us went pretty quiet. We couldn't wait for that game to end.

"Between the three of us [Allen's management team] before the end of the game we had a hug.

"It's been a team effort on and off the field - and we have to mention all the players who've played for us through the season on loan or who've left. They've played their part as well.

"We're a work in progress, we're not finished yet, that's for sure."

Torquay United manager Alan Knill told BBC Radio Devon:

"Even though they had a lot of ball and they put a lot of balls into our box I thought we looked dangerous on the counter-attack.

"You've got to come out and keep the crowd quiet for 20 minutes and two minutes after the break they scored, so it made it difficult.

"Full credit to the players - they kept going and we hit the bar but it just wasn't to be.

"I thought we were committed today and we have to be for the next three games. I think we will comfortably stay up and it is important everybody is with us."

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Gillingham

  • 01 Nelson
  • 02 Fish
  • 03 Martin
  • 06 Legge
  • 26 Barrett
  • 07 Whelpdale
  • 14 Allen (Lee - 86' )
  • 18 Dack (Frampton - 53' )
  • 28 Gregory
  • 09 Kedwell
  • 17 Birchall (Burton - 72' )

Substitutes

  • 21 Forecast
  • 05 East
  • 12 Frampton
  • 15 Davies
  • 08 Lee
  • 39 Haysman
  • 20 Burton

Torquay

  • 13 Rice
  • 02 Oastler
  • 03 Nicholson Booked
  • 04 Downes
  • 05 Saah
  • 06 Lathrope (Benyon - 63' )
  • 07 Mansell
  • 11 Morris (Yeoman - 90' )
  • 15 Bodin
  • 25 Chapell (Jarvis - 64' )
  • 09 Howe

Substitutes

  • 33 Thompson
  • 16 MacDonald
  • 21 Cruise
  • 20 Craig
  • 08 Jarvis
  • 23 Yeoman
  • 26 Benyon
Ref: Madley
Att: 7,574

Match Stats

Shots

21 15

On target

11 6

Corners

6 6

Fouls

9 9

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:00 Full time

Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.

90:00 +4:01

Short corner taken by Deon Burton.

90:00 +3:26

Kevin Nicholson produces a cross, Chris Whelpdale gets a block in.

90:00 +2:46

Matt Fish crosses the ball, clearance by Joe Oastler.

90:00 +2:30

Danny Kedwell takes a shot. Save by Martin Rice.

90:00 +1:45 Substitution

Substitution Ian Morris leaves the field to be replaced by Ashley Yeoman.

89:21

Rene Howe concedes a free kick for a foul on Andy Frampton. Free kick taken by Stuart Nelson.

87:41

Kevin Nicholson crosses the ball, Danny Kedwell gets a block in.

86:54

Free kick awarded for a foul by Deon Burton on Aaron Downes. Free kick taken by Kevin Nicholson.

85:20 Substitution

Substitution Charlie Lee is brought on as a substitute for Charlie Allen.

83:59

Foul by Leon Legge on Rene Howe, free kick awarded. Strike comes in from Kevin Nicholson from the free kick,

82:58

Free kick awarded for a foul by Deon Burton on Lee Mansell. Kevin Nicholson takes the direct free kick.

82:28

Elliot Benyon delivers the ball.

81:49 Booking

Booking Booking for Kevin Nicholson for unsporting behaviour.

81:41

Foul by Kevin Nicholson on Charlie Allen, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Charlie Allen.

81:29

Andy Frampton delivers the ball, save made by Martin Rice.

80:01

Ryan Jarvis crosses the ball, clearance by Adam Barrett. Corner taken left-footed by Kevin Nicholson, Headed effort from inside the area by Aaron Downes misses to the right of the goal.

79:44

The ball is sent over by Matt Fish, save by Martin Rice.

78:44

The ball is delivered by Billy Bodin.

78:08

Ryan Jarvis takes a shot. Blocked by Chris Whelpdale.

75:57

Chris Whelpdale takes a shot. Martin Rice gets a block in. Corner taken right-footed by Charlie Allen, Danny Kedwell has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the goal.

74:40

Charlie Allen produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.

73:30

The ball is delivered by Ian Morris.

72:38

Charlie Allen sends in a cross, Kevin Nicholson manages to make a clearance. Charlie Allen takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Ian Morris manages to make a clearance.

71:22 Substitution

Substitution (Gillingham) makes a substitution, with Deon Burton coming on for Adam Birchall.

67:49

Elliot Benyon takes a shot. Adam Barrett gets a block in.

67:21

A cross is delivered by Lee Mansell, clearance by Danny Kedwell.

66:40

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Lee Mansell played to the near post, clearance made by Chris Whelpdale.

65:05

Chris Whelpdale takes a shot. Save by Martin Rice. Charlie Allen concedes a free kick for a foul on Brian Saah. Free kick taken by Martin Rice.

64:24

Matt Fish crosses the ball, clearance by Joe Oastler.

62:55 Substitution

Substitution Jordan Chapell leaves the field to be replaced by Ryan Jarvis.

62:55 Substitution

Substitution Elliot Benyon comes on in place of Damon Lathrope.

61:41

Matt Fish produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.

56:47

Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Aaron Downes misses to the right of the target.

56:11

Andy Frampton concedes a free kick for a foul on Rene Howe. Kevin Nicholson takes the direct free kick.

54:30

Andy Frampton has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.

53:30

The official flags Andy Frampton offside. Direct free kick taken by Martin Rice. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Charlie Allen by Rene Howe. Free kick taken by Stuart Nelson.

52:02 Substitution

Substitution (Gillingham) makes a substitution, with Andy Frampton coming on for Bradley Dack.

50:38

Corner from the right by-line taken by Kevin Nicholson, Effort on goal by Brian Saah from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.

49:02

Header by Jordan Chapell from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.

47:02

Assist on the goal came from Joe Martin.

47:02 Goal scored

Goal! - Danny Kedwell - Gillingham 1 - 0 Torquay A goal is scored by Danny Kedwell from inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Gillingham 1-0 Torquay.

46:38

Matt Fish produces a cross, Brian Saah makes a clearance.

45:59

Ian Morris delivers the ball.

45:01

The match restarts for the second half.

45:00 +1:14 Half time

Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.

45:00 +0:10

Lee Mansell takes a inswinging corner.

44:51

Free kick awarded for a foul by Bradley Dack on Ian Morris. Kevin Nicholson restarts play with the free kick.

44:19

The ball is swung over by Joe Martin.

42:29

Unfair challenge on Jordan Chapell by Adam Barrett results in a free kick. Billy Bodin shoots direct from the free kick, blocked by Chris Whelpdale. Centre by Billy Bodin, Leon Legge manages to make a clearance.

40:35

Corner taken by Lee Mansell, Strike by Aaron Downes from inside the six-yard box clear the bar.

39:02

The ball is crossed by Joe Oastler, clearance by Adam Barrett.

38:00

Matt Fish delivers the ball, Close range header by Adam Birchall misses to the right of the goal.

35:38

Centre by Adam Birchall, Headed effort from inside the area by Danny Kedwell misses to the left of the goal.

33:08

Joe Martin fouled by Billy Bodin, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Charlie Allen.

32:30

Adam Birchall produces a cross, Aaron Downes manages to make a clearance. Corner taken right-footed by Charlie Allen, Brian Saah manages to make a clearance.

31:34

Effort on goal by Ian Morris from just outside the area goes harmlessly over the target.

31:17

Bradley Dack gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kevin Nicholson. Free kick taken by Kevin Nicholson.

29:47

Corner taken right-footed by Lee Mansell, save by Stuart Nelson.

29:13

Foul by Adam Barrett on Rene Howe, free kick awarded. Kevin Nicholson restarts play with the free kick.

27:54

The offside flag is raised against Rene Howe. Stuart Nelson restarts play with the free kick.

27:09

Danny Kedwell takes a shot. Save by Martin Rice.

26:01

The assistant referee signals for offside against Adam Birchall. Direct free kick taken by Martin Rice.

25:10

The ball is sent over by Matt Fish.

24:03

Billy Bodin takes a shot. Martin Rice makes a save. Kevin Nicholson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Danny Kedwell. Direct free kick taken by Matt Fish.

23:16

Leon Legge takes a shot. Save by Martin Rice.

22:50

Joe Oastler gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Whelpdale. Charlie Allen takes the direct free kick.

22:15

Shot on goal by Danny Kedwell from just inside the area goes over the target.

21:43

The ball is sent over by Steven Gregory, clearance made by Rene Howe.

21:12

Steven Gregory takes a shot. Save made by Martin Rice. Corner taken by Charlie Allen.

21:03

Centre by Matt Fish, Kevin Nicholson makes a clearance.

20:52

Adam Barrett takes a shot. Brian Saah gets a block in.

19:58

Lee Mansell takes a shot. Save by Stuart Nelson.

18:25

Effort on goal by Chris Whelpdale from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.

17:53

Rene Howe takes a shot.

17:32

Free kick awarded for a foul by Aaron Downes on Danny Kedwell. Free kick taken by Charlie Allen.

16:58

The ball is sent over by Kevin Nicholson.

16:27

Joe Oastler delivers the ball, Steven Gregory manages to make a clearance.

15:23

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Martin Rice.

14:41

Unfair challenge on Danny Kedwell by Damon Lathrope results in a free kick. Matt Fish takes the free kick.

13:24

The offside flag is raised against Danny Kedwell. Martin Rice restarts play with the free kick.

11:57

Rene Howe takes a shot. Leon Legge gets a block in.

10:33

Effort on goal by Matt Fish from long range goes harmlessly over the bar.

10:16

Chris Whelpdale delivers the ball, clearance made by Aaron Downes.

9:00

Charlie Allen takes a shot. Lee Mansell gets a block in.

8:47

Free kick awarded for a foul by Aaron Downes on Danny Kedwell. Charlie Allen takes the free kick.

7:48

Joe Martin crosses the ball, Kevin Nicholson makes a clearance.

6:27

Outswinging corner taken by Charlie Allen, Brian Saah manages to make a clearance.

6:04

Steven Gregory takes a shot. Aaron Downes gets a block in.

4:37

The ball is sent over by Matt Fish.

2:45

Danny Kedwell takes a shot. Save made by Martin Rice.

1:42

Adam Birchall takes a shot.

0:17

Shot from long distance by Jordan Chapell goes wide of the left-hand upright.

0:00

The referee gets the game started.

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