Gillingham's faint play-off hopes were dealt a large blow Saturday as they played out a 0-0 draw with Shrewsbury Town.
The Gills hit the post and missed other opportunities in a physical affair, but had to settle for a point to leave them major outsiders for a top six finish.
Story of the match
Gillingham started the game on the front foot and man in form Vadaine Oliver should have put the home side ahead inside the opening five minutes. After the Shrewsbury defence failed to deal with a low Jordan Graham cross, League One’s ‘Player of the Month’ for March found the ball at his feet at the back post, perhaps unexpectedly. He scuffed his shot, however, and Town cleared.
Connor Ogilvie headed Ryan Jackson’s cross into the arms of Matija Sarkic as the Gills continued to press, and Sean Goss had Shrewsbury’s first shot in anger just after 10 minutes, which was deflected for a corner.
The visitors enjoyed a spell of possession and began to control proceedings as frustration grew in the home dugout. Shaun Whalley slotted just wide on half an hour in the best chance for Town so far, and had his head in his hands at the result of his efforts.
Jack Bonham then had to save from Daniel Udoh as the hosts struggled to even get out their half, and just when it looked like the Gills were working towards half-time Connor Ogilvie hit the post. A traditional Ryan Jackson long throw wasn’t dealt with, and the Gills defender struck the inside of the woodwork.
Gills manager Steve Evans swapped John Akinde and Stuart O’Keefe for Dominic Samuel and Robbie McKenzie at half-time in an attempt to improve Gillingham’s fortunes, and it was evident from early in the second-period that the game was going to become a very physical one.
Shrewsbury captain Oliver Norburn forced Jack Bonham into a save low down to his left in the first effort of the half, and Oliver headed into the goalkeeper’s hands at the other end, but the game struggled for any fluidity.
Gillingham’s struggles were shown when Samuel robbed a Town defender of the ball in his own half, leaving he and Oliver two on two. Samuel got his pass wrong, though, and Oliver fired wide.
Donald Love fired over as the game entered the final 10 minutes, and Oliver shot wide after Dempsey’s free kick was deflected over the bat at the other end.
In the end, neither team managed to do enough to secure the three points, and the spoils were shared.