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Chesterfield 3 Gillingham 3 – League 1 match report


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Scott Wagstaff grabbed a last-gasp equaliser for Gillingham at Chesterfield.

The Gills conceded in the first minute as Connor Wilkinson put the hosts ahead.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas converted two second-half penalties for the Gills but both were in response to Chesterfield goals, one from the spot by Kristian Dennis and another from Wilkinson.

Gillingham players applaud the fans at the final whistle Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham players applaud the fans at the final whistle Picture: Barry Goodwin

With just seconds left the Gills broke down the left and when Bradley Dack found Wagstaff after a good run from Elliott List he found the bottom corner.

Several injuries left the Gills squad threadbare ahead of the trip and the starting XI was much-changed.

Full-backs Paul Konchesky and Ryan Jackson missed out with injury while striker Cody McDonald failed to start after picking up a knock. Rory Donnelly dropped out completely.

Captain Josh Wright was dropped and in came youngster Darren Oldaker for his first start. There was another teenager on the bench in academy midfielder Ben Chapman.

Emmanuel Osadebe and Wagstaff took on the wing-back roles while up front Dack was playing in support of Emmanuel-Thomas.

Scott Wagstaff fires home the equalising goal Picture: Barry Goodwin
Scott Wagstaff fires home the equalising goal Picture: Barry Goodwin

But it was the hosts who showed attacking intent from the off, scoring inside 60 seconds.

Jon Nolan’s free-kick was whipped in and Wilkinson was there to prod the ball home past Stuart Nelson.

Gillingham were unable to find the target when they did get into good positions, with Mark Byrne and Billy Knott both off-target from distance. Deji Oshilaja headed wide from a corner and Osadebe went the same way with the shot.

Gboly Ariyibi was a threat for Chesterfield down the right flank, firing in a couple of dangerous crosses in the opening half. He also took on a shot himself which Nelson comfortably got down to save.

Gills came close themselves when Emmanuel-Thomas turned in the box but his shot was deflected wide. Home keeper Ryan Fulton ended the half without being tested.

Gillingham celebrate with their fans after scoring late on at Chesterfield Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham celebrate with their fans after scoring late on at Chesterfield Picture: Barry Goodwin

Chesterfield doubled the lead on 52 minutes. Nolan was fouled in the box after Wilkinson’s run into the area had caused problems and Dennis fired home past Nelson from the spot.

The Gills got back in it with a 65th-minute penalty from Emmanuel-Thomas – their first on-target effort. Referee Trevor Kettle spotted a shirt pull on Oshilaja by Tom Anderson.

Chesterfield restored their two-goal advantage with 18 minutes left after a Gills passing move broke down. Ariyibi’s run was halted by Josh Pask but Wilkinson picked up the loose ball and dinked an effort past Nelson.

Gillingham still weren’t finished and Emmanuel-Thomas again scored from the spot, with 76 minutes gone. Wagstaff was sent tumbling in the box by Laurence Maguire and the striker struck low past Fulton to make it 3-2.

The Gills came close to an equaliser in the last minute when Fulton failed to hold onto a ball into the box, but Oshilaja headed over. However they got the equaliser with almost the last kick, breaking free of the Chesterfield defence, with Wagstaff firing home.

Chesterfield: Fulton, Hird, Liddle, Mitchell (O’Shea 62mins), Nolan, Dennis, Anderson, Wilkinson (Dimaio 77mins), Maguire (Donohue 87mins), Ariyibi, Graham. Subs not used: Gardner, Evatt, German, Parkin.

Gillingham: Nelson, Wagstaff, Osadebe, Ehmer, Pask, Oshilaja, Knott (List 59mins), Oldaker, Dack, Byrne, Emmanuel-Thomas. Subs: Hadler, Hessenthaler, McDonald, Dickenson, Chapman, Wright.

Attendance: 4,714 (124 away)

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