Dover and Gillingham shared the spoils in an exciting all-Kent pre-season friendly thanks to Giancarlo Gallifuoco’s second half tap in.
The defender, who signed a one year deal with Athletic earlier this week, punished Gillingham goalkeeper Thomas Holy after the Czech stopper allowed Mitch Brundle’s free kick to wriggle underneath his body and into the path of the Australian.
Ryan Bird had earlier given the home side the lead five minutes into the first half, but Gillingham hit back through goals from Connor Wilkinson and Luke O’Neill before Gallifuco levelled.
Dover made the perfect start as Bird expertly directed Femi Ilesamni’s cross into the back of the visitors net via the post.
Jake Hessenthaler, son of former Dover Manager Andy, went close with a header and Gillingham had an even better chance to level 10 minutes later.
Goalkeeper Mitch Walker felled a Gillingham triallist in the box, but redeemed himself by diving left to push away Wilkinson’s spot kick.
However, the White’s stopper was unable to keep Wilkinson out for long as the visiting striker slotted pounced on Connor Essam’s miscontrol to slot home.
The home side almost had the lead shortly after the break, but Jamie Allen’s close range effort was deflected wide. Lee Martin then let fly from the edge of the box for Gills, but his effort flew the wrong side of the post.
The League One side took the lead on 61 minutes as Luke O’Neill crashed a close range header past a helpless Walker.
But Gallifuoco was on hand to equalise minutes later and Dover were inches away from winning the match late on as Holy tipped a triallist’s curling effort onto the cross bar.
Earlier boss Chris Kinnear made one change to the starting line up from Tuesday night’s 3-0 win at Deal Town.
Gallifuoco, Bird and two triallists came in for Loui Fazakerley, George Essuman, Tobi Sho-Silva and Mitchell Pinnock, who all came on as second half substitutes against Gills.
Whites host another League One side, Charlton Athletic, on Tuesday 18th July, kick off 19:45.
Dover: Walker, Trialist (Fazakerley 46mins), Ilesamni (Barnard 70mins), Gallifuoco, Parry (Essuman 75mins), Essam (Trialist 75mins), Richards (Trialist 61mins), Brundle, Bird (Trialist 61mins), Allen (Sho-Silva 61mins), Trialist (Trialist 70mins).
Gillingham: Nelson (Holy 46mins), O’Neill (O’Mara 46mins), Ogilvie (Garmston 46mins), Zakuani (Ehmer 46mins), Trialist (Tucker 46mins), Hessenthaler (Oldaker 46mins), Byrne (Trialist 46mins), Martin (Wright 46mins), List (Wagstaff 46mins), Wilkinson (Mbo 46mins), Trialist (Stevenson 46mins). Subs: Hadler, Chapman, Simpson, Cundle.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
|Date||Time||League||Season||Full Time||Attendance||Man of the Match|
|15th July 2017||3:00 pm||Pre-Season Friendly||2017-2018||90'||1,084||Giancarlo Gallifuoco|
|Crabble Athletic Ground|
|40 Crabble Rd, Dover, Kent CT17 0QJ, UK|