13th April 1996
GILLINGHAM 1-0 EXETER CITY
It was an important win that would help strengthen Gillingham's promotion aspirations.
Kevin Rattray should have put the Gills in front during the second half, but he scuffed his shot from inside the six-yard box. John Sharpe almost scored a fantastic goal for Exeter as his half volley from a difficult angle hit the crossbar, leaving Jim Stannard rooted to his spot. David Puttnam scored the winner with just 15 minutes remaining. Dennis Bailey's cross was headed towards John Gayle by Puttnam. Gayle did well to hold off the defender before playing it back to Puttnam to slot into the back of the net.
Gills: Stannard, Micklewhite, Manuel, Smith, Harris, T Butler, Rattray (S Butler), Ratcliffe, Gayle (Fortune-West), Bailey, Puttnam.
Referee: Mr G Pooley
Match Report 2
Saturday 13th April
Endsleigh Insurance League
Gillingham 1 Exeter City 0.
Gillingham team: Stannard Mickiewhite, Manual, Smith, Harris. T Butler, Rattray IS Butler 55th) Ratcliffe, Gayla (Fortune-West 85th Baley
Sub not used: Carpenter
Exeter City : Peter Fax, Mark Chamberlain (Barry McConnell). Gary Rice, Chris Myers, Noel Blake (Matthew Hare), Jon Richardson, Leen Braithwaite, Danny Bailey, Richard Pears. John Sharps, Mark Came. Sub not used: Hughes
Chances were few and far between ina game with two well organised defences A draw would have been fair result, but a 75 minute close range shot by Puttnam sealed the points for The Gills.
This was cruel luck for City who had succeeded in frustrating the Kent side. and almost took the lead themselves when John Sharpe saw his 25 yard effort bounce of the top of the crossbar and away to safety
The game took a long while to come to life, and it was really only in the second half that the Gills began to put Exeter under any pressure.
The longer the game went on the happier City were. The home side should have taken the lead through Rattray but they had few chances against an otherwise well organised defence in which Noel Blake, later to be led off for stitches to a nasty cut to his left eyebrow, and Marty Hare substituted.