More goals - but this time Gills are victims of last-gasp winner

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Gillingham were involved in yet another thriller at Priestfield on Saturday, but this time they ended up on the wrong end of a 4-3 scoreline, going down to a stoppage time winner from Crewe’s 17-year-old Max Clayton.

Nick Powell’s sensational opener gave Crewe a 27th-minute lead, a 30-yard strike that left Gillingham keeper Paolo Gazzaniga clutching at thin air on its way to the top corner.

Jack Payne scored from close range to make it 1-1 just three minutes after the restart, but Crewe then scored two goals in as many minutes.

On 52 minutes AJ Leitch-Smith turned in a Powell cross to restore Crewe’s lead and within a minute Powell, who was watched by a host of Premier League scouts, produced a classy volley for Crewe’s third.

Chri Whelpdale volleyed through a crowded penalty area to pull one back on 67 minutes and six minutes later Ashley Miller scored the equaliser from a rebound.

At that point Gillingham looked favourites, but Danny Spiller, who’d only been on the field for 12 minutes, lunged in on Jordan Browne and was shown a straight red.

The momentum shifted again and in the fifth-minute of added time Clayton glanced in a header. Gillingham remain eighth and just a point off the play-off places.

Manager Andy Hessenthaler was gracious about Crewe, but left to rue some of the choices made by his players.

“It was a poor day from us in respect of making decisions and in the end that has cost us the game,” he told the club’s website.

“I said to the players don’t be too down on it, we have been on a terrific run and could have easily got something out of this game.

“But if we looked at it we were a tired team at the end after playing ten men for a good hour last week and then playing again on Tuesday.”

If there was a consolation it came in the way Gillingham rallied after going 3-1 down.

“A lot of teams would have been dead and buried at home at 3-1, but we kept going and there were some good goals,” he said. “Whelpdale’s was a great finish, great technique to get us back in at 3-2 and then Ashley’s was a good goal.

“At 3-1 we could have easily dropped our heads but we got back to 3-3 and the momentum was with us.

“We go down to 10 men and that summed it up today over the 90 minutes. We made some poor decisions and if we hadn’t of made those we might be sitting here with five wins from five.”

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