Published: 16:40, 31 August 2013
The wait for a first league win of the season continues for Gillingham
Adebayo Akinfenwa put the Gills infront midway through the first half against Bristol City but Marvin Elliot headed City level in stoppage time.
Neither team managed to find a winner in the second half, with the visitors bossing things after the turnaround.
Gillingham had gone into the League 1 fixture looking to register their first win of the season, while visitors City were hoping for their first league success since March 9.
Gills boss Martin Allen resisted the temptation to make changes to his starting eleven, despite Cody McDonald netting the previous week and new signing Danny Hollands arriving on Thursday.
It was the third time running Allen had kept faith with the same team.
Allen was rewarded by a positive Gillingham display in the opening half that led to Akinfenwa scoring his second goal of the season, heading home Charlie Lee’s 21 minute throw.
Lee had twice earlier caused problems in the City defence with his long throw. The Gills midfielder had also been leading the way in midfield as the hosts looked to deny Bristol City time on the ball.
Gillingham kept the pressure on, looking for a second, with Myles Weston having a vicious long range effort blocked and Danny Kedwell seeing his header graze the outside of the post.
But as the half neared its conclusion, City began to find chances more forthcoming.
Gills keeper Stuart Nelson had to get down well to save from Greg Cunningham and then got behind efforts from Marlon Pack and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.
But he could do nothing from Elliot’s powerful header, just seconds into the allotted two minutes of first half injury time. The City midfielder guided Scott Wagstaff’s cross into the bottom corner.
City started the second half brightly, with Nelson saving Emmanuel-Thomas’ powerful effort, then watched as Aden Flint came close with a header from the subsequent corner. Moments later Nelson was in action again, saving from Bobby Reid.
With just seven minutes of the half gone, Allen made changes. McDonald replaced Akifnenwa upfront, while Hollands came on for Weston.
City missed a great chance to go infront on the hour. Scott Wagstaff ghosted past Leon Legge and found Sam Baldock lurking almost on the goal-line, but his finish was sloppy and Adam Barrett was on hand to hack the ball clear.
McDonald had a couple of half chances for the Gills, while Nelson had to be alert to save from Baldock, as he was picked out in space by Brendan Moloney.
City were finding holes in the Gillingham defence but with 15 minutes left the hosts almost sneaked a goal themselves, as Hollands robbed Derrick Williams of the ball but saw his chip sail narrowly over.
Nelson was in the right place to divert Baldock’s low and powerful free-kick away from goal, as it found a way through Gillingham’s defensive wall. The over-worked Gills keeper then had to block a Thomas effort as City continued to threaten.
A chance in the final minute at the other end saw McDonald almost wriggle clear, only to be harried out of possession.
Gillingham: Nelson, Harriman, Martin, Barrett, Legge, Gregory, Lee (Allen 79mins), Whelpdale, Weston (Hollands 52mins), Akinfenwa (McDonald 52mins), Kedwell. Subs not used: Davies, Dack, German, Howard.
Bristol City: Fielding, Cunningham, Moloney, Williams, Flint, Wagstaff, Reid (Shorey 60mins), Pack, Elliot, Baldock, Emmanuel-Thomas. Subs not used: Fontaine, Parish, Wilson, Wynter, Harewood, Burns.