Smith strike sees off Stoke
By Rob Lancaster. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Gillingham's hopes of Championship survival received a boost as they recorded a 2-1 win over Stoke.
Stan Ternent's team moved level with fourth-bottom Coventry after they picked up a third win from their last four outings.
The home side got off to a dream start when Jonathon Douglas grabbed his first goal in professional football.
The on-loan Blackburn player scored direct from a free-kick on the right flank as Stoke failed to stop the ball drifting into the left-corner of Steve Simonsen's goal.
They could have increased their lead on two separate occasions soon after as Michael Flynn fired wide and Nicky Southall was unable to find the target with a header.
Stoke were second best for much of the opening half with their only opportunity coming when Clive Clarke's free-kick clipped a post.
However the visitors came out a different side in the second 45 minutes and they got back on level terms just nine minutes after the break.
Dave Brammer's floated free kick was met by a firm header from Kenwyne Jones to give the player his second goal for the club since joining on loan from Southampton.
It appeared Stoke were the more likely team to grab the next goal, but a poor clearance allowed Paul Smith a chance to fire the hosts back into the lead.
The Gillingham skipper's sweetly stuck first-time effort proved to be the winner as the visitors saw their six-match unbeaten run come to an end.
Tue 15th Mar
Watford2 - 2Leicester
Wolves2 - 0Burnley
Sheff Utd1 - 1Preston
Rotherham1 - 0Reading
West Ham1 - 1Crewe
Brighton2 - 4Wigan
Cardiff0 - 1Ipswich
Millwall1 - 1Coventry
Gillingham2 - 1Stoke City
Sunderland5 - 1Plymouth
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