Published: 16:40, 02 March 2019
| Updated: 20:56, 02 March 2019
Gillingham were denied a win after conceding a stoppage-time goal at Fleetwood.
Foul weather made life tough for both teams, as goal chances were in short supply, but Eaves put Gillingham ahead with seven minutes left.
Fleetwood weren’t to be denied a share of the spoils though as James Husband bent home a 91st minute free-kick.
As expected, Dean Parrett replaced the injured Billy Bingham, the only change to the eleven for the Gills.
It was a bright start to the game for Steve Lovell’s men, who could have climbed as high as 13th in League 1 with a win.
Despite the early pressure, including a handful of corner kicks, the Gills couldn’t make it count.
Leading scorer Tom Eaves had a shot blocked, having got on the end of Mark Byrne’s ball over the top, and soon after found Leo Da Silva Lopes’ cross just out of reach.
Home keeper Alex Cairns ended the half without a significant save to make, Eaves’ blocked shot the only effort at goal from the visitors.
Fleetwood finished the half a lot better than they started it and had two of the best chances in the opening 45 minutes. Twice they were denied by Tomas Holy.
The Gillingham keeper got in the way of Ched Evans’ effort after an Ashley Hunter free-kick had landed in his path, although the referee pulled play back for a free-kick to the visitors. It was Hunter who then came close to scoring just before the break, denied by Holy’s outstretched leg as he looked to roll the ball home.
There was drama at the start of the second half when Lopes brought down Lewie Coyle on the edge of the box, after he had been played in on goal by Evans. Fleetwood were appealing for a penalty and a red card but got neither. Evans took the subsequent free-kick but he fired it straight into Gills’ wall and Connor Ogilvie blocked the follow-up.
Fleetwood kept up the pressure but they were having trouble finding a way through to goal. Neither side were helped by the weather, Saturday’s match played in driving rain and windy conditions.
Lively midfielder Hunter was often on the end of Fleetwood’s best chances but his end product was poor.
Brandon Hanlan had the chance to open the scoring when meeting Barry Fuller’s deep cross but he couldn’t get a decent connection as he looked to volley the ball at goal.
Elliott List was presented with a golden chance moments after coming on but his header from Luke O’Neill’s cross went just the wrong side of the post.
The match looked to have finally been settled in the 83rd minute when Eaves rose highest to head in Fuller’s cross.
But it was Fuller’s foul on Ashley Nadesan that led to the equaliser, Husband bending the free-kick into the top corner.
Gillingham: Holy, O’Neill, Fuller, Ehmer, Ogilvie, Byrne, Parrett, Lopes, Burke, Eaves, Hanlan (List 79mins). Subs not used: Hadler, King, Rees, Campbell, Reilly, Charles-Cook.
Fleetwood: Cairns, Coyle, Eastham, Souttar, Burns, Hunter (Garner 72mins), Husbands, Sowerby, Sheron (Nadesan 62mins), Madden, Evans. Subs not used: Jones Hold, Biggins, Rydel, Holgate.