An disappointing, error strewn performance by Shots, lifted only briefly by a late rally, saw them slump to their fifth home league defeat of the season - well beaten by a sharper, hungrier, stronger and in-form Gillingham side that are surely heading for at least a play off place, if not automatic promotion this season.
There was just one surpise in Shots manager Dean Holdsworth's team selection; Aaron Brown preferred to his namesake Morris at the heart of Shots defence. Morris took his place on a five man bench that also included loan signing Jamie Day, who, like Scott Davies, has joined from Crawley Town. Shots also welcomed back Adam Mekki from a successful loan spell at Dorchester and he also made the bench.
It was a nervous start for Aaron Brown and his two early mistakes led to Gills taking the lead in just the 6th minute. Firstly, he completely sliced an attempted routine clearance and then, when play was recycled, he failed to shepherd a ball out for a goal kick, had the ball played off him and conceded a corner. Frank Nouble flicked it in at the near post to leave Shots stunned at being behind early on.
On 12 minutes, Shots had a great chance to equalise, but Ross Flitney tipped over Luke Guttridge's excellent free kick strike from 22 yards. And that would prove to be the closest Shots would come for the reast of the half.
They flattered to deceive going forward and were woeful at the back. Was it Brown and Jones? Smith and Jones? or Laurel and Hardy? Unfortunately for Shots it was more like the latter, as between them, they managed to give away three uneccessary corners. Brown was at fault for two of them but ironically came to Jones' rescue clearing up after the Welshman's error saw the ball flash dangerously across goal.
Jamie Young, deputising once again for Ross Worner, suffered mixed fortunes as the half wore on. Firstly, he made a fantastic flying one handed save, to deflect a stinging Danny Kedwell shot for a corner. However, on 36th minutes, he was to suffer, yet again, the fate of being beaten from long range. Unlike last weeks brilliant curling effort, this time he should unquestionably have saved Chris Whelpdale's 30 yard shot, but somehow got underneath it and Shots found deservedly found themselves 2-0 down.
That remained the score at the break after which Shots huffed and puffed for 15 minutes without creating a worthwhile chance and then Gillingham almost scored a third, Jackman firing just wide from 20 yards.
Holdsworth shuffled his pack. On came Collins and Davies, for Vincenti and Rodman, but the clock ticked on and Shots rarely threatened....until the 80th minute......when Scott Davies rolled back the years to remind Shots fans just what they used to love.......one of his 25 yard screamers! 2-1.
Mekki came on for McGlashan. Shots pushed for an equaliser, but struggled to break down a dogged defence and produced very few clear cut chances. The best of which fell to Aaron Brown who headed wide from a corner. Gills held on for a well deserved victory. For Shots, it's back to the drawing board.