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Gillingham 1 Wigan Athletic 1 – League 1 match report

Steve Lovell did his chances of bagging the Gillingham management job no harm on Tuesday night.

Graham Westley - the front-runner among the bookies to take charge - was at the game but it was Lovell’s name the fans were singing after another gallant effort.

Just days after an unexpected win at high-flying Peterborough, the Gills claimed a well deserved point against the league leaders.

Tom Eaves heads Gills infront against Wigan Picture: Andy Payton
Tom Eaves heads Gills infront against Wigan Picture: Andy Payton

Tom Eaves headed the Gills infront 10 minutes after the interval and Elliott List had en effort deflected off the woodwork.

Wigan captain Sam Morsy levelled the scores late in the game to deny Gillingham maximum points.

Mark Byrne and Bradley Garmston, who had both been struggling with injuries before last weekend, were missing from the squad. It meant a return to the starting XI for loan left-back Connor Ogilvie.

Interim boss Steve Lovell reverted to a wing-back system for the visit of the league leaders and the visitors certainly looked good down the right flank, with Nathan Byrne and Gavin Massey a real threat.

Early on it looked like being a long night for the Gills but just like at the weekend, they soaked up the pressure and began to get on the front-foot themselves.

Elliott List challenges for the ball Picture: Andy Payton
Elliott List challenges for the ball Picture: Andy Payton

Eaves – back after a four-match ban - was a handful upfront, bossing the Wigan defence at times during the second half, while the pace of List also kept big Wigan centre-back Dan Burn preoccupied.

Wigan were always strong going forward but the Gills often found a way to create chances, although visiting keeper Jamie Jones remained untroubled before the interval.

Sean Clare volleyed an effort wide, Eaves put a chance wide and came close again moments later, denied only by a last-ditch Burn challenge.

List had appeals himself for penalty after looking to have been pushed in the box but referee Brett Huxtable was unwilling to give the Gills any big decisions.

Gillingham ended the half well in the game.

Tom Eaves rises to meet a cross Picture: Andy Payton
Tom Eaves rises to meet a cross Picture: Andy Payton

There was a chance each early in the second half, with the impressive Bingham shooting wide for Gills and Wigan’s Morsy off the mark the other end.

The Gills took a 55 minute, a move which Eaves helped create. He laid the ball off to Sean Clare and was there in the box to meet the cross, heading in from close-range.

With just over an hour gone Eaves then created a great chance to make it 2-0, turning in the middle of the park to create space before sending Parker in on goal, only for the bearded wingback to fire wide.

Eaves continued to dictate, playing Bingham into space, but his subsequent shot went straight to keeper Jones.

Wigan were on the ropes and List came close when he was picked out in the box by Martin. The shot was deflected onto the post by Dunkley.

The visitors finally got back on level terms with eight minutes out, Morsy firing home with a super effort from 20 yards, giving Holy little chance.

Gillingham (3-5-2): Holy, Ehmer, Zakuani, Ogilvie, Clare, Parker, Bingham, Hessenthaler, Martin, List (Wagstaff 78mins), Eaves (Cundle 83mins). Subs: Nelson, O'Mara, Oldaker, Chapman, Wilkinson.

Wigan (4-2-3-1): Jones, Byrne, Dunkley, Burn, Elder, Morsy, Power, Massey (Roberts 71mins), Powell, Jacobs, Toney (Grigg 71mins (Hunt 88mins)). Subs: Sarkic, Perkins, Bruce, Thomas.

Attendance: 4,705 (152 away)

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