Cambridge United added another 90 minutes in the tank, as the U’s held League One Gillingham to a goalless draw at Priestfield Stadium in their third pre-season encounter.
Mark Bonner’s men looked a solid unit throughout the fixture and set the tone during the opening 45 minutes, where they restricted the Gills to just the one clear opportunity on Callum Burton’s goal. The U’s keeper was able to watch Vadaine Oliver’s header from 12 yards out, comfortably wide of his right post.
In fact United grew offensively as the opening half wore on. Paul Mullin fired the U’s first shot in anger past the bottom right corner, having opened up room with a quick turn on the edge of the Gills 18 yard box.
The striker then produced a similar skill midway through the half to make the most of Joe Ironside’s cut back pass, but having got the better of Connor Ogilvie to open up the clearest chance for either side in the half, Mullin dragged his effort wide of the mark from 12 yards.
United persisted to go at the hosts, Tom Knowles finding the target but also the gloves of Jack Bonham with a free kick from 25 yards, whilst shortly after Harry Darling bravely made contact with his head at the back post but wasn’t able to direct Greg Taylor’s chipped cross underneath the cross bar.
Moments before half time and following neat footwork by Liam O’Neil, Luke Hannant was given the freedom to let fire on a low pile driver from just outside Gillingham’s penalty area, which certainly had the better of Bonham in the goal but skipped off the slick surface and fractions wide of the bottom corner.
Callum Burton showed excellent alertness five minutes after half time, hastily dropping to his right to get a glove to powerful header into the ground by Gills sub Stuart O’Keefe.
Mark Bonner made his first changes around hour mark, with Luke Hannant and Liam O’Neil being replaced by Jack Iredale and Lewis Simper.
Kyle Knoyle hurtled forward brilliantly on 66 minutes to create a chance for himself inside the Gillingham 18 yard box, but couldn’t quite keep his shot inside the far post from a narrow angle.
Paul Digby had perhaps the U’s best glimpse at goal of the game on 74 minutes, when the midfielder climbed highest on the edge on the six yard but directed a header millimetres over the top, with Gills keeper Bonham stranded.
Harvey Knibbs, Andrew Dallas and Joe Neal were introduced to proceedings by Bonner 15 minutes from time, and provided United with fresh legs, which was followed shortly after with the arrival of Worman and Dickens.
Andy Dallas had the final opportunity of the match in the last minute, the ball dropping kindly for the Scot in space in the Gill area, but his effort was comfortable for Bonham in the centre of his goal, as the contest finished all square.
Gillingham F.C: Bonham, Jackson, Tucker, Medley, Ogilvie, Willock, Dempsey, McKenzie, Coyle, Oliver, Graham
Cambridge United: Burton, Knoyle, Taylor (Dickens, 82 mins), Darling, Dunk (Worman, 82 mins), Knowles (Neal, 75 mins), O’Neil (Simper, 65 mins), Digby, Hannant (Iredale, 56 mins), Ironside (Dallas, 75 mins), Mullin (Knibbs, 75 mins)