John Akinde header earns Gillingham victory over Crewe
John Akinde’s second-half header earned Gillingham a 1-0 win at Crewe to end a miserable run of five straight defeats.
But the Gills were fortunate to be on level terms by the time the substitute scored with a thumping header which goalkeeper Will Jaaskelainen could not keep out.
Crewe wasted a host of good chances, hitting the woodwork twice, while Joe Lumley, on loan from QPR, was excellent in the visiting goal.
Charlie Kirk prodded wide from eight yards after Tom Lowery sent the ball across the box.
There was another let-off for Gillingham when Daniel Powell, played in on goal by former Gills striker Mikael Mandron, thudded a shot against the outside of a post.
Kirk cut in and fired straight at Lumley and Powell wasted another chance as he lifted a header over with only the keeper to beat.
Lumley kept out Mandron’s effort from inside the box and then got a hand to divert Callum Ainley’s rising drive over as Crewe offered a constant threat but without a finish.
For Gillingham, Jordan Graham glanced the top of the woodwork with a corner and ex-Crewe frontman Vadaine Oliver pulled a volley past the far post.
After the restart, Harry Pickering drove in a low cross which Mandron clattered onto the near post, with the ball rebounding into Lumley’s arms.
But just three minutes after coming off the bench, Akinde made Crewe pay when he rose to meet Graham’s cross from the left with a powerful header.
Another excellent delivery from Graham was met by Tom O’Connor, whose header hit the roof of the net.
Lumley kept out substitute Owen Dale’s snapshot as Crewe sought in vain for an equaliser.