Accrington 4-3 Gillingham

Michael Smith scored a hat-trick as Accrington Stanley beat Gillingham in their first game without John Coleman in charge for 13 years.

It took them just 45 seconds to score, with Smith tapping home before Danny Jackman's 25-yard free-kick leveller.

Smith scored from the edge of the box and Luke Joyce netted from 20 yards before Smith's third from close range.

Gills pulled one back when Gavin Tomlin nipped in to fire home and he then rifled home to ensure a nervy ending.

Stanley held on for the final five minutes as Leam Richardson started his spell as caretaker boss with a win, following Coleman's move to Rochdale on Tuesday.

But it was 20-year-old Smith, one of Coleman's last signings earlier this month, who stole the headlines.

The loan signing from Charlton, who started the season at Darlington, opened the scoring from Padraig Amond's cross, added his second with a low shot which snuck in and, after assisting Joyce's goal, converted Peter Murphy's cross for his hat-trick.


Gillingham boss Andy Hessenthaler told BBC Radio Kent:

"We worked this week on defending as a group, and we went out there and did the opposite to what we've worked on all week.

"I was speechless at half-time and we did not see that coming.

"I'm not just blaming the back four, it's about the whole team. The goals we conceded in the first half came when we had the ball.

"If people are not going to listen to what we want them to do, and what we are telling them leading up to a game then they won't be in the team. It's not acceptable."

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