Published 3rd August 2012
A young very skillful Gillingham side gave Ryman League Division One South club Whitstable Town a hard lesson on Thursday night.
It was an entertaining game with some slick football from the visitors.
Gills were on top from the start but did not take the lead until the 37th minute when a cross from George Humber found its way to Ben May who slotted the ball into the back of the net.
The half-time score was a fair reflection of the first half. Gillingham, watched by first-team manager Martin Allen and his predecessor Andy Hessenthaler, continued to impress in the second half.
Town were lucky in 52nd minute when confusion in the defence saw the ball bounce onto the bar only for the ball to be cleared away.
There were some encouraging signs from the Town. In the 60th minute ex-Gillingham midfielder Nicky Southall sent over a searching corner which only needed a touch to bring Whitstable level but nobody could get on the end of it.
However, 4 minutes later Gillingham extended their lead when Frank Raymond was able to get on the end of a through ball to loop the ball over triallist Robert French to make it 2-0.
After 70 minutes Town nearly pulled one back when an excellent through ball from James Morrish found Dan Wisker whose curling shot went the wrong side of the post.
Gillingham finished the scoring in the 85th minute when substitute Aaron Millbank cut back and slotted their third goal away.
The Oystermen`s league rivals Maidstone United sent a squad to Kent Hurlimann Leaguers Rochester United and drew 2-2.
Goals from Baff Addae and Ade Olorunda give the Stones a share of the spoils.
The home side equalised with more-or-less the last kick of the game.
Ryman Division One North side Grays Athletic beat another League Two outfit, neighbours Dagenham & Redbridge, with second half goals from Luke Marshall and Joe Sweeney securing a 2-1 success.
Ex-Grays player Duran Reynolds captained the visitors, who also included Medy Elito, Jake Reed and Danny Green, all of whom have featured in League football for the Daggers.
And it was the combined efforts of Elito and Reed who gave the Daggers the lead just before half-time - Elito`s shot falling into the path of Reed, who had the simple task of tapping in from six yards.
Uhlsport Hellenic League side Holyport went down 3-5 to a team from Blue Square Bet South club Maidenhead United.
Holyport scorers were Jamie West – his first goal for the club - Ross Crawford and Stuart Butler.
Another Hellenic League side, Thame United, beat a youthful team sent from League Two Oxford United.
Tyrone Marsh the only senior Oxford player on view at the impressive ASM Stadium.
It was Marsh who showed the younger players the way with a well-taken goal on 25 minutes as he latched on to an astute pass from left-back David Lynn and calmly slotted the ball across the keeper to make it 1-0.
But Thame matched their visitors for most of the first half and drew level on 31 when former United youngster Dan West strode forward and thumped the ball home from 20 yards for a fine goal.
The second half saw the U's look the more likely side to grab a winner, but in the end it was the home side who won it with 5 minutes to go as Cameron Legan drove home a loose ball after a scramble.