Dunkley nets winner as Oxford ease past Gillingham
Cheyenne Dunkley scored the only goal as Oxford edged to a 1-0 win at 10-man Gillingham in a hard-fought battle.
Dunkley's strike was Oxford's first goal in three matches, and means they have now lost just one of their last eight Sky Bet League One matches.
While the visitors started stronger, Gillingham soon crept back into the game with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Frank Nouble's aerial ability testing the Oxford backline.
The hosts could have taken the lead just before half-time as Emmanuel-Thomas released Nouble, but an abysmal touch allowed Curtis Nelson to recover and clear.
Both teams came out on the front foot in the second half, although Oxford were far more composed in attack and began to dominate.
Gillingham's substitutions failed to stem the Oxford tide, and with 66 minutes played Chris Maguire ran to the byline and crossed low to Dunkley, who could hardly miss from six yards out.
The hosts were then reduced to 10 men when Deji Oshilaja was given his marching orders in the 76th minute after picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Ryan Taylor.
Despite that, Gillingham almost equalised five minutes from time through an overhead kick from defender Baily Cargill, only to see it fly narrowly over the bar.