With expectations at perhaps an all time low (well, a six year low anyway), The Shots came into this tough match away to the league leaders, with confidence fragile and a new injury worry too. Anthony Tonkin was forced to join Alex Rodman and Craig Stanley on the sidelines. However, there was new blood too - Danny Rose, rejoining his former manager Holdsworth - who he played under at Newport - came in for his football league debut.
Both sides forced corners in the opening minutes from which both had headers which flew just over the bar. Whelpdale for Gills. Hylton for Shots, from an excellent delivery by Rose.
However, it was the home side who struck first, in the 9th minute. Young saved brilliantly from Jack (not Josh) Payne, only for Charlie Allen, the Gillingham Manager's son, to turn home the rebound.
Things got worse for The Shots in the 25th minute, as Bradley inadvertently handled Danny Kedwell's right wing cross and the referee showed no hesitation in awarding the home side a spot kick, which Kedwell himself duly despatched.
On that occasion, The Shots could consider themselves a tad unfortunate, but fortune had no part to play in Gills third goal. Myles Weston showed good control to bring the ball down with his back to goal, before turning his marker all too easily and scoring with a low shot past Young from 15 yards.
Craig Reid almost pulled one back for Shots in first half added time, only for Nelson to produce a breathtaking save from Reid's 12 yard left foot strike. 3-0 to Gills at half time.
In truth, the game died a bit second half, Gills understandably resting on their laurels but still able to contain most of the occasional attacks that Shots launched. Hylton's close range effort on 58 minutes was on target, but cannoned back off a Gills defender.
On 66 minutes, Gills scored again. Chris Whelpdale on target with a low right footed shot from the edge of the area, which went in off the post.
Holdsworth finally made his first substitution on 79 minutes, bringing Josh Payne on for Adam Mekki, who had given his all for the cause but made little impact against the league leaders. Five minutes later Rankine came on for Reid.
The game had long since been up for Shots though. As for Holdsworth, well, given the clubs financial situation, he will remain - for the time being at least - to try and pull things round.
Shots: Young, Herd, Bradley, Brown, Branston, Mekki, (Payne) Vincenti, Morris(A), Rose, Hytlon, Reid (Rankine) Subs not used: Lancashire, Bergqvist, Anderson, Donnelly, Morris(G) Att: 5039 (188 visiting fans)