Gillingham secured a top-10 finish for the second consecutive season as Vadaine Oliver’s 17th league goal of the campaign proved decisive in their 1-0 defeat of Plymouth at Priestfield.
The first half was marked by an 11-minute stoppage following a clash of heads between Oliver and Kell Watts seconds after kick-off, which left the Plymouth defender requiring medical treatment.
Watts’ replacement Byron Moore saw his curling effort well saved by Gills goalkeeper Jack Bonham with the game’s first noteworthy chance. Ben Reeves’ deflected free-kick from the edge of the box also came close to giving the visitors the lead.
Oliver showed his striker’s instinct to put the hosts in front after 28 minutes as he knocked in Olly Lee’s glanced header from Robbie McKenzie’s cross at the back post.
Argyle goalkeeper Michael Cooper produced a stunning save to keep out Lee’s left-footed effort four minutes into the second half after the ball deflected fortuitously to the unmarked Gillingham midfielder in the box.
The defeat was Plymouth’s 12th in 21 games since the start of February, although they were only denied a point by Bonham’s excellent save from Joe Edwards’ shot shortly after the hour.