Oxford United are in second place with nothing to gain from a dominant display in Kent.
Carl Robinson played some terrific football at times, but Gillingham’s efficiency in the face of goal – on the other hand – was crucial.
All three goals from the hosts were problematic from a defensive standpoint.
Wadeen allowed Oliver to go to the back post to open the scoring, with Jacob Mellis taking the second bite on the cherry to give Giles a 2-0 lead in the 22nd minute.
United crushed opponents who threw bodies to protect the lead.
Cameron Bronnagan missed a sitter, but Dan Agay regained the lead in the second half.
When it looked like the visitors were ready to go ahead and get something out of the encounter, Taylor wasted a great chance to change 3-1 before Jordan Graham got into the net.
United finished strong but could not set a grandstand finish.
Josh Raffles, one of two changes to the U.S. XI from a previous league game, has returned to the team for the first time since day one.
Rob Atkinson’s nerve was not right, so Sam Long moved to the center and Cameron Brennan arrived for Rob Hall.
United were unhappy with the change in makeshift facilities in the main position – their mood worsened when they conceded twice in a row at half speed.
After tight opening exchanges, former United lender Jordan Graham Oliver set up the opening goal with a cross to the back post which went close from close range.
The visitors had a mountain to climb quickly, and they were caught playing in their own half.
It broke for Mellis, who blocked the shot right inside the box. It fell miserably to the midfielder who threw the bouncing ball into the far corner.
Gillingham were strong enough for their opponents, but they trailed by two goals.
United accepted the invitation and scored their best 20-minute spell of the season.
Despite the defense, they moved the ball well to find space.
They ended up in a five-minute spell just before the break, and they had to get back into the game.
Cameron Brongan had a clear chance for everyone, but he moved in from Anthony Ford’s cross wide six yard box.
Jack Bonham replaced and defeated Taylor, who took place in the Shimmy box before taking a low shot cannon from the goalkeeper’s right foot.
Rufles set up that opportunity and decided to score himself a minute later. However, his attempt from 12 yards was deflected by Connor Ogilvy, who arrived just before James Henry threw the ball into the net.
United’s goal came three minutes after the resumption.
Raffles’ cross for Taylor moved into the sky, and Agi quickly overtook Bonham and slammed the ball.
This forced Gillingham to get out of their shell and they got a decent spelling.
After Mellis fired from Claire’s error, the hosts thought Simon Eastwood had saved with one hand when Josh Eccles smashed a shot from the edge of the area.
Abraham hit a free kick, but United must be level within 65 minutes.
The Ford delivery from a free kick gave Taylor a golden opportunity on a plate but the striker moved to the ground.
Abraham’s finish from Ryan Jackson’s cross in the fifth minute restored a two – goal lead.
On his return, United moved forward in the first half.
Bonham escaped from the Raffles, while Henry was dragged too far into a post.
Sam Vinnall made his debut but the visitors could not find a second goal to upset Gillingham.
Gillingham (4-3-3): Bonham, Jackson, Tucker, Medley, Ogilvy, Driesdale, Mellis (McDonald 84), Eccles, Graham, Samuel (Woods 90), Oliver (Aquinde 90).
Unused subs: Walsh, Magoma, McKenzie, Coil.
Booked by: Driesdale, Abraham.
Oxford UTD (4-3-3): Eastwood, Claire, Long, Moore, Rufles, Kelly (Hall 80), Ford, Brennan, Henry, Taylor, Agay (77).
Unused subs: Stevens, Hanson, Gorin, McGuan, Sykes.
Referee: Thomas Brammel (Sheffield).
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