Published: 16:45, 19 September 2020
| Updated: 17:33, 19 September 2020
Jordan Graham struck twice as Gillingham came from behind to claim their first league win of the season.
Midweek penalty hero Graham bagged twice in the opening half to cancel out Joe Garner’s opener. Trae Coyle got Gills’ third after the break but Wigan made it tense by replying through Kai Naismith.
Wigan dropped out of the Championship last season following a points deduction for entering administration and over the summer fans watched as their key men departed one by one, including captain Sam Morsy to Middlesbrough and big striker Kieffer Moore to Cardiff.
The Latics have turned to a mix of young hopefuls and some experienced campaigners but they were facing a Gillingham side lacking in numbers having suffered some early-season injury blows.
It meant a first start for Coventry City loan midfielder Josh Eccles - just four days after playing for the Sky Blues against the Gills in the Carabao Cup - and a first league start for another young midfielder, Scott Robertson, on loan from Celtic .
Wigan caused the Gills some early problems from a series of corners. Jack Tucker headed one cross away but only as far as Lee Evans, but the Gills defender then made a block as the Wigan man followed up with a shot. From the resulting corner, keeper Jack Bonham punched clear but when the ball cannoned off his own team-mate Christian Maghoma, he was grateful to see the rebound clear the bar.
Garner struck the opener after 21 minutes, finishing well off a Viv Solomon-Otabor cross, the Wigan winger beating left-back Connor Ogilvie for pace before sending the ball into the box.
In an instant the Gills were level. Vadaine Oliver’s flick was taken down well by Graham and he finished smartly past keeper Jamie Jones.
Graham then put the Gills ahead on 31 minutes with another well struck shot after cutting in from the left, assisted once again by Oliver, although there will be questions over home keeper Jones as the ball beat him low into the far corner.
Gillingham’s two-goal scorer almost had a third before the break when his inswinging corner almost went straight in. Jones had to punch it clear from off the line. Graham also went close with an early second half corner, this time hitting the post with his flag-kick.
Gillingham’s third goal came on 62 minutes, Oliver again involved in the build-up. It was Robertson with the final assist though, laying the ball off to Coyle and he finished well just inside the post.
Wigan got a goal back within two minutes, a Gary Roberts corner was nodded down into the path of Naismith and he poked the ball home.
Gillingham substitute John Akinde was tugged back on the edge of the box after looking to get onto the end of a Jack Bonham clearance. Wigan’s Nathan Cameron got away with a booking.
Wigan: Jones, James, Pearce, Fox, Cameron, Naismith, L Evans, Solomon-Otabor, Roberts (Crankshaw 90mins), Perry, Garner. Subs not used: O Evans, Obi, Joseph, Merie, Jolley, Long.
Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Ogilvie, Tucker, Maghoma, Eccles, Robertson, Coyle, Mellis (Willock 83mins), Graham, Oliver (Akinde 85mins). Subs not used: Walsh, Medley, McKenzie, Woods.