Published: 16:40, 14 January 2017
Ady Pennock’s reign as Gillingham boss started with a defeat.
Josh Law put hosts Oldham ahead at the break, scoring direct from a free-kick.
That goal proved to be enough as the Gills drew a blank against the League 1 basement side.
New boss Pennock brought young winger Elliott List into the team as one of five changes to the XI.
Bradley Dack and Paul Konchesky returned from suspension while Billy Knott replaced Mark Byrne in midfield.
With no new defensive signing before the game, Chris Herd took over in defence, alongside new team captain Max Ehmer.
Bottom side Oldham went into the match without a goal in their previous five games but also had a new man in charge, with John Sheridan returning to the club on Thursday.
Oldham ended their poor scoring form with the game’s opening goal in the 29th minute.
Konchesky had committed a foul on the edge of the box and Law finished from 20 yards.
Up until that point the Gills had been unable to overly trouble the home keeper, Connor Ripley, wasting some good set-piece opportunities. List’s pace led to some dangerous free-kicks for the visitors.
The Gills came close to equalising through Ehmer, who had one overhead kick saved expertly by Ripley. Moments later a rising shot on the turn was held by the stopper.
Billy Knott had earlier seen a free-kick find the target but his shot was comfortably held.
Gillingham needed to up the quality in the second half if Pennock’s reign was to start on a positive note.
Oldham’s Lew Erwin came close to a second early in the half, jinking past a couple of challenges before rolling a shot just wide.
Staurt Nelson also needed to make a good save to deny Billy McKay, who latched onto the ball after Ehmer had blocked an effort from Ryan Flynn. He had got in on goal after side-stepping Ryan Jackson.
Cody McDonald played the last half hour, replacing Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.
Law came close from another free-kick, which Nelson had to tip over.
Dack fired wide with a free-kick for Gills in a half that up until then had seen Oldham creating the better chances. List had also headed wide before going off.
Gillingham looked more threatening in the latter stages and Dack had a half-hearted penalty appeal turned down after a tangle in the box with Paul Green. He went down in the box again a few minutes later, but received a booking for diving.
Dack remained in the thick of the action until the final whistle, with a shot into the keeper’s arms during stoppage-time. He laid another chance off to Knott which Ripley held.
The day belonged to Law, however, and he nearly added a second at the death, crashing a long-range effort off the bar.
Oldham Athletic: Ripley, Law, Wilson, Flynn, McKay (Green 80mins), Edmundson, Dummigan, Erwin (Osei 60mins (Glackin 87mins)), Fane, Clarke, McLaughlin. Subs not used: Kettings, Reckford, Banks, King.
Gillingham: Nelson, Jackson, Konchesky, Herd (Osadebe 70mins), Ehmer, Wright, Knott, Wagstaff, List (Donnelly 68mins), Emmanuel-Thomas (McDonald 60mins), Dack. Subs not used: Hadler, Oldaker, Dickenson, Byrne.