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Gillingham 2 Wigan Athletic 0 - match report

Gillingham’s thrilling early season form continued at Priestfield thanks to a Bradley Dack double.

Dack scored to give the Gills a deserved lead in the opening half.

Luke Norris hit the post after the break before Dack doubled the lead from the penalty spot.

Bradley Dack fights for possession against Wigan Picture: Barry Goodwin
Bradley Dack fights for possession against Wigan Picture: Barry Goodwin

Dack’s brace took his season goal tally to five in five.

Gillingham were up against a side who won the FA Cup as recently as 2013, beating Manchester City in the final.

Two relegations in three seasons, however, see them jostling with the Gills in League 1.

Much had happened since the two sides met in the Division 2 play-off final at Wembley, won in extra-time by the Gills, taking them to the Championship back in 2000.

Boss Justin Edinburgh named an unchanged XI following the midweek win over Bradford. The only change for the Gills came on the bench, where Cody McDonald was a welcome face, having overcome an ankle injury.

The Gills were straight on the attack and Dack forced a save from keeper Richard O’Donnell in the opening stages.

Wigan looked nervy at the back and the Gills came close to making them pay on several occasions. Luke Norris came an inch away from closing down keeper O’Donnell when he received a back pass.

The Gills survived a couple of scares in the half but were largely on top, with Dickenson sending a vicious shot over and forcing another save from the busy visiting keeper.

Gillingham finally found a way through in the 37 minute. Jordan Houghton won possession and found Rory Donnelly, who in turn picked out Dack and he fired in low past a static O’Donnell.

The Gills made a bright start to the second half and Luke Norris was played in on goal six minutes after the restart. Jordan Houghton’s delightful through-ball was matched only by Craig Morgan’s saving tackle.

Both teams had great chances with seconds of each other on 55 minutes. Will Grigg got on the end of a great Sean Murray cross but was denied at the far post by Stuart Nelson’s foot.

Seconds later, at the other end, Norris drove a shot across O’Donnell but saw the ball bounce off the upright. Norris fizzed another chance wide on the volley moments later as the Gills looked for a crucial second goal.

That second goal arrived after 82 minutes. Dack was hauled down in the box by former Gills loan defender Donervon Daniels and the in-form midfielder converted from 12 yards.

Daniels got away with a booking but did finish the match early, walking off after a clash of heads late in the game.

Gillingham: Nelson, Jackson, Egan, Oshilaja, Dickenson, Hessenthaler, Dack, Wright, Houghton, Donnelly (McGlashan 90mins), Norris (Williamson 72mins). Subs not used: G Morris, Garmston, Ehmer, McDonald, Oldaker.

Wigan: O'Donnell, James (McKay 78mins), Perkins, Daniels, McCann, Jacobs, Morgan, McNaughton (Kenny 42mins), Junior (Murray 46mins), Grigg, Davies. Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Power, Barnett, Pearce.

Attendance: 5,692 (286 away)

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