Published: 14:30, 26 December 2017 |
Updated: 17:52, 26 December 2017
Conor Wilkinson struck with a late equaliser against Oxford to clinch a point for the Gills.
Both sides lacked any real quality during the opening half but Richardinho Silva opened the scoring early in the second for the visitors.
The Gills levelled the League 1 match when Oxford were unable to clear from a corner and Wilkinson pounced from close range.
Gillingham boss Steve Lovell made just one change to his team as Jake Hessenthaler replaced the injured Scott Wagstaff.
The Gills were buoyed by back to back league wins. The last time the Gills won three on the spin in the league was during the 2015 festive period.
Despite those league wins, the Gills were unable to replicate the same quality against Oxford, but did at least avoid defeat.
The visitors were smarting from a 7-0 hiding to Wigan last time out and they looked determined not to make that happen again, throwing themselves infront of many Gills shots and crosses.
It was Oxford’s second trip to Priestfield in December, winning on their last visit in the Checkatrade Trophy, after the Gills had a seemingly legitimate goal ruled out by the officials.
The Gills had started the game on top but struggled to make keeper Simon Eastwood work. The best chance came from Luke O’Neill’s low cross, missing the onrushing Tom Eaves by a fraction.
Oxford were limited to shots from distance, Jon Obika with a couple of efforts that Tomas Holy comfortably dealt with. Their best move ended with Gino Van Kessell volleying over from close range.
Referee Nicholas Kinseley might have faced some questions had the move resulted in a goal, as Sean Clare looked to have been fouled by Ryan Ledson in the build-up.
Gillingham - who switched from 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-2 after half an hour - only had two on-target efforts in the opening half, a weak shot from Clare and a glancing header from Eaves, neither which troubled keeper Eastwood.
The Gills went behind after 52 minutes when Ricardinho’s shot from the edge of the box took a deflection and found the bottom corner.
Clare put a chance over for the Gills and Parker dragged an effort wide while at the other end Max Ehmer had to hack the ball clear after Holy was unable to hold onto Rothwell’s shot.
Lovell made a double switch with 20 minutes left, hoping to make a difference by introducing Conor Wilkinson and Greg Cundle, the two men taking over upfront.
O’Neill fired a shot into the side netting and the game opened up in the latter stages as the Gills grew more desperate.
Wes Thomas had a great opportunity to put the game beyond the Gills, when put in on goal, but his lobbed effort was poor and Holy claimed the ball.
The equalising goal came after 87 minutes when Clare's corner caused chaos in the Oxford box, Eastwood saved a headed effort off Elliott List, but substitute Wilkinson was on hand to smash the ball home.
Gillingham: Holy, O'Neill, Ehmer. Zakuani, Ogilvie, Hessenthaler, Byrne (List 80mins), Clare, Martin (Wilkinson 68mins), Eaves (Cundle 68mins), Parker. Subs not used: Nelson, Lacey, Nugent, Oldaker.
Oxford United: Eastwood, Martin, Ledson, Thomas (Henry 82mins), Ruffels, Rothwell, Obika, Carroll, Ricardinho, Mousinho, Van Kessell (Payne 61mins). Subs not used: Shearer, Tiendalli, Williamson, Fernandez, Mowatt.
Attendance: 5,555 (440 away)
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.