THE Brewers lost their first away game of the season with Gillingham coming from behind to record a 3-1 win. Boyce opened the scoring for Albion but two from Tom Eaves and a glorious free-kick from Luke O’Neill sealed the points.
There were two changes to the team that lost 2-1 to Rochdale on the opening day of the season.
Jamie Allen was ruled out with a back strain and Joe Sbarra came into the midfield. Jake Buxton moved to the bench with Ben Fox keeping his place after impressing as a second half sub against Rochdale - and Kyle McFadzean moved into the back four as he did in the second period the week before, to accommodate Fox in the middle.
The Brewers recorded an away win at Priestfield to kick off the second Nigel Clough area when the clubs last met in League One three seasons ago and Albion again looked to take the game to Gillingham.
They did just that – with Scott Fraser influential in Albion’s best moves.
Sbarra and Boyce had shots at goal and there were some neat interchanges of play from the Brewers as they took the game to Gillingham.
But the match remained open with the home side looking at their most threatening on the break.
The Brewers suffered a setback when Damien McCrory limped off and Reece Hutchinson came on to make his Albion debut and the Gills immediately had two good opportunities.
Brayford denied the home side a goal with an important block from a shot from Bingham.
Then Parker's cross/shot hit the roof the Albion net.
But Albion continued to look the side most likely to break the deadlock.
And the goal came after 26 minutes. The Brewers won a corner which was taken by Sbarra and although Boyce didn’t get a firm touch on it he did enough to guide it into the bottom corner with Holy unable to prevent it crossing the line.
Albion deserved the lead and looked like they may add to it but the Gills were back in it after catching the Brewers on the break.
It was on 35 minutes that Eaves made it 1-1. Gillingham broke when Fox lost the ball in the middle of the park. Hanlan picked it up and found Eaves in space and he beat Bywater with a crisp shot not long after coming on as a substitute to replace the injured Parrett.
They could have taken the lead in injury time as Hanlan shook off McFadzean to latch onto a loose ball only to fire against the bar
Gillingham opened the second period on the front foot and Albion conceded two free kicks in quick succession on the edge of the area.
The first served as a warning with Garmston testing Bywater with the Brewers keeper at full stretch.
But he stood no chance on 51 minutes as O’Neill curled in a beauty to make it 2-1
It could have been 3-1 on 60 minutes.
Charles-Cook slid the ball to Hanlan who hit the upright with Bywater beaten. Albion scrambled the ball away.
It was then Albion’s turn to miss a great chance. Boyce beat his man, cut into the box and set up Sordell, His shot was blocked, it fell to Sbarra and again the Gills got a body in the way.
On 68 minutes Fraser had a chance but Holy got down to save his crisp shot well.
Albion were now well on the offensive with Fraser sliding the ball to Akins who couldn’t score from the angle.
But Albion were again caught out on the break
Eaves made it 3-1. Albion lost the ball and allowed Hanlan to advance on goal. His shot was well saved at full stretch by Bywater but Eaves slotted in the rebound.
And it could have been four as Hanlan again found space only to be denied by Bywater.
BREWERS: Bywater, Brayford (C), McFadzean, Turner, McCrory, Fox, Sbarra, Fraser, Sordell, Boyce, Akins. Subs: Campbell, Buxton (for McFadzean – 82), Templeton, Harness, Hutchinson (for McCrory – 17), Hodge
GILLINGHAM: Holy, O’Neill, Garmston, Ehmer, Zakuani (c), Hanlan, Parrett, Charles-Cook, Parker, Bingham, Byrne: Subs: Hadler, Lacey, Eaves (for Parrett – 33), Fuller, Nasseri, Nash, Stevenson
REFEREE: Lee Probert
ATTENDANCE: 5,016 – 180 away