Charlie Lee struck a vital late winner as Gillingham eased their relegation fears with victory against Crawley.

The visitors, who were unbeaten in seven league games, had the best of the early chances, but Billy Clarke missed the target twice when well placed.

Joe Walsh also hit a post for Crawley, while Cody McDonald saw his effort for the hosts well saved by Paul Jones.

But Lee, who was sent off in the reverse fixture in September, slotted home the winner from close range.

Gills ended their run of three successive defeats and climbed to 14th, six points clear of the relegation zone, while Crawley dropped to 16th, just four points away from the drop zone.

Gillingham manager Peter Taylor told BBC Radio Kent:

"The situation we're in, there's going to be games like this and the one thing any manager can ask from their players is to not drop their heads and keep going.

"We played better in the last three matches and lost every one of them, so that's the game of football.

"Any Gillingham supporter, or anyone connected with the club, is going home happy. I'm going home happier than John Gregory tonight, and John's team played better than us.

"The fans were fantastic, they were helpful in every way - even to the point of maybe having a pop at a player or at me. That's not a problem, in some ways it gets players going. If you've got any character about you, you're not going to let it affect you."

Crawley manager John Gregory told BBC Surrey:

"I cannot be too angry with my team because we've come here - and it's normally been a difficult place to come and get anything - but we've totally dominated the game and our chances were far more clear-cut then Gillingham had.

"We missed gilt-edged chances that should have gone in the back of their net and we should be talking about a three or four-nil away victory.

"Had it not been that way maybe I wouldn't be quite so down, but when you get opportunities like that you have to take them.

"Gillingham were there for the taking today and I'm somewhat disappointed that we haven't won."

Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (5)

Gillingham

  • 01 Nelson
  • 29 Hewitt
  • 03 Martin
  • 31 Hessenthaler
  • 06 Legge
  • 26 Barrett
  • 27 Fagan (Lee - 81' )
  • 12 Gregory
  • 32 Pigott (Akinfenwa - 72' )
  • 10 McDonald (Birchall - 91' )
  • 11 Weston

Substitutes

  • 05 Davies
  • 08 Akinfenwa
  • 15 Dack
  • 17 Birchall
  • 18 Lee
  • 28 Borrowdale
  • 35 Baxter

Crawley Town

  • 01 Jones
  • 29 Connolly
  • 03 Sadler
  • 10 Drury
  • 05 McFadzean
  • 12 Walsh
  • 21 Jones (Kaikai - 89' )
  • 15 Bulman
  • 18 Tubbs
  • 14 Proctor (Fallon - 73' )
  • 07 Clarke

Substitutes

  • 04 Connolly
  • 08 Torres
  • 09 Fallon
  • 16 Kaikai
  • 17 Boateng
  • 25 Maddison
  • 28 Dicker
Ref: Dean Whitestone
Att: 5,961

Match Stats

Shots

14 15

On target

6 3

Corners

11 9

Fouls

11 7

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Gillingham 1, Crawley Town 0.

90:00 +3:15 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Gillingham 1, Crawley Town 0.

90:00 +0:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Gillingham. Adam Birchall replaces Cody McDonald.

90:00 +0:05

Foul by Cody McDonald (Gillingham).

90:00 +0:05

Dannie Bulman (Crawley Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

89:31

Corner, Gillingham. Conceded by Kyle McFadzean.

89:23

Attempt blocked. Charlie Lee (Gillingham) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

88:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Crawley Town. Sullay Kaikai replaces Michael Jones.

87:37 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Gillingham 1, Crawley Town 0. Charlie Lee (Gillingham) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Leon Legge.

86:30

Corner, Gillingham. Conceded by Dannie Bulman.

85:51

Charlie Lee (Gillingham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

85:51

Foul by Andy Drury (Crawley Town).

84:34

Attempt missed. Billy Clarke (Crawley Town) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.

84:09

Billy Clarke (Crawley Town) hits the right post with a header from the right side of the six yard box.

83:19

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Leon Legge.

81:51

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Steven Gregory.

80:29 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Gillingham. Charlie Lee replaces Craig Fagan.

79:45

Attempt saved. Cody McDonald (Gillingham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

78:25

Corner, Gillingham. Conceded by Billy Clarke.

77:20

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Joe Martin.

77:01

Foul by Jake Hessenthaler (Gillingham).

77:01

Andy Drury (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

72:11 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Crawley Town. Rory Fallon replaces Jamie Proctor.

71:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Gillingham. Adebayo Akinfenwa replaces Joe Pigott.

71:03

Attempt saved. Matt Tubbs (Crawley Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

70:25

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Myles Weston.

69:31

Attempt missed. Jamie Proctor (Crawley Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

68:15

Attempt missed. Leon Legge (Gillingham) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

67:54

Corner, Gillingham. Conceded by Paul Jones.

67:44

Attempt saved. Cody McDonald (Gillingham) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

67:13

Corner, Gillingham. Conceded by Paul Connolly.

66:20

Attempt missed. Myles Weston (Gillingham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

66:08

Attempt saved. Craig Fagan (Gillingham) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

64:51

Corner, Gillingham. Conceded by Paul Jones.

64:40

Attempt saved. Cody McDonald (Gillingham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

61:23

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Leon Legge.

61:14

Attempt blocked. Matt Tubbs (Crawley Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

60:30

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Leon Legge.

60:21

Attempt blocked. Billy Clarke (Crawley Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

56:49

Foul by Joe Martin (Gillingham).

56:49

Michael Jones (Crawley Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

54:43

Attempt missed. Craig Fagan (Gillingham) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

54:31

Corner, Gillingham. Conceded by Paul Jones.

54:21

Attempt saved. Joe Pigott (Gillingham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

53:32

Corner, Gillingham. Conceded by Joe Walsh.

53:15

Attempt saved. Matt Tubbs (Crawley Town) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

51:44

Attempt missed. Matt Tubbs (Crawley Town) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

50:02

Foul by Cody McDonald (Gillingham).

50:02

Joe Walsh (Crawley Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

46:44

Hand ball by Matt Tubbs (Crawley Town).

45:20

Foul by Craig Fagan (Gillingham).

45:20

Matthew Sadler (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00

Second Half begins Gillingham 0, Crawley Town 0.

45:00 +0:11 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Gillingham 0, Crawley Town 0.

44:01

Attempt missed. Joe Pigott (Gillingham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

41:24

Craig Fagan (Gillingham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

41:24

Foul by Matthew Sadler (Crawley Town).

41:08

Attempt blocked. Joe Pigott (Gillingham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

40:17

Attempt missed. Kyle McFadzean (Crawley Town) header from very close range is just a bit too high.

39:39

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Leon Legge.

39:03

Attempt blocked. Jamie Proctor (Crawley Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

37:32

Attempt missed. Matthew Sadler (Crawley Town) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

37:18

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Leon Legge.

37:07

Attempt blocked. Jamie Proctor (Crawley Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

36:27

Attempt saved. Billy Clarke (Crawley Town) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

29:47

Attempt missed. Joe Pigott (Gillingham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

28:57

Corner, Gillingham. Conceded by Matthew Sadler.

28:12

Attempt missed. Billy Clarke (Crawley Town) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

25:54

Myles Weston (Gillingham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

25:54

Foul by Paul Connolly (Crawley Town).

24:39

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Leon Legge.

23:28

Corner, Gillingham. Conceded by Paul Connolly.

20:48

Foul by Cody McDonald (Gillingham).

20:48

Kyle McFadzean (Crawley Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

19:16

Foul by Jamie Proctor (Crawley Town).

19:16

Elliott Hewitt (Gillingham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

17:52

Billy Clarke (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

17:52

Foul by Elliott Hewitt (Gillingham).

15:11

Foul by Joe Pigott (Gillingham).

15:11

Andy Drury (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

14:46

Attempt missed. Billy Clarke (Crawley Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

10:20

Foul by Cody McDonald (Gillingham).

10:20

Kyle McFadzean (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

8:29

Attempt missed. Leon Legge (Gillingham) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left.

8:01

Corner, Gillingham. Conceded by Matthew Sadler.

6:11

Jamie Proctor (Crawley Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

6:11

Foul by Craig Fagan (Gillingham).

5:03

Foul by Matthew Sadler (Crawley Town).

5:03

Adam Barrett (Gillingham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

4:27

Hand ball by Michael Jones (Crawley Town).

3:48

Kyle McFadzean (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3:48

Foul by Cody McDonald (Gillingham).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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