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Oldham Athletic 1 Gillingham 1 - League 1 match report

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham bagged a point at Oldham with a stoppage-time goal from Tom Eaves.

Eaves came off the bench to score against his former club in controversial circumstances.

The Gills won a penalty after Wilfied Moimbe had been sent off for an off the ball challenge. Eaves stepped up and fired home from the spot in the second minute of injury-time.

Oldham v Gillingham Picture: Andy Payton (1493910)
Oldham v Gillingham Picture: Andy Payton (1493910)

Relegation scrappers Oldham were heading for a win after Duckens Nazon scored on the stroke of half-time.

It was an unchanged starting eleven for the Gills and a welcome return to the bench for Luke O’Neill and Tom Eaves.

Gillingham impressed in the week against Blackburn but arrived at relegation threatened Oldham with just one goal in their last five and without a win since beating Portsmouth a month ago.

Conor Wilkinson had Gills’ best chances of the opening half but was twice denied, with two shots in two minutes.

His first effort came after good footwork inside the box led to an opening from an angle but home keeper Johny Placide got something on it to make a save.

Moments later Wilkinson got in again, this time taking the ball down on his chest before turning and shooting, only to see Anthony Gerrard make a great block.

Conor Wilkinson shoots at goal but is denied Picture: Andy Payton
Conor Wilkinson shoots at goal but is denied Picture: Andy Payton

Home forward Eoin Doyle had been a handful early on while playmaker Jack Byrne always looked a threat.

Nazon showed little sign of his quality early on, shanking a shot well wide, but his finish at the end of the half was quality, drilling it low past Holy after getting the better of Bradley Garmston.

Prior to that Oldham had been denied by Holy, saving with his feet to deny Byrne and making a point-blank save to stop George Edmundson’s header off Byrne’s free-kick.

Just before that Doyle had headed a Byrne free-kick onto the woodwork but the linesman’s flag was up for offside.

Gillingham were unchanged for the second half and came close early on with a Wilkinson shot that flashed wide.

Byrne and Doyle continued to be dangerous at the other end, almost combining with an hour gone to create a second goal.

Gills boss Steve Lovell introduced Tom Eaves against his former side with half an hour left and within seconds his cross almost produced an equaliser, Placide making a great save on his line to keep out Jake Hessenthaler’s header.

Doyle came close to doubling the lead after chesting down Byrne’s crossfield pass but the finish went narrowly wide.

Wagstaff put a volley wide for the Gills late on but the drama wasn’t over.

Referee Michael Salisbury was centre of attention in stoppage time, consulting his linesman before giving Moimbe his marching orders after an off the ball incident, believed to have involved Eaves. The Gills forward then converted to level the scores.

Oldham: Placide, Moimbe, Gerrard, Gardner, Nazon (Amadi-Holloway 84mins), Edmundson, McEleney (Nepomuceno 69mins), Hunt, Fane, Byrne, Doyle (Hamer 90mins). Subs not used: De La Paz, Pringle, Obadeyi, Benteke.

Gillingham: Holy, Nugent (O’Neill 58mins), Ehmer, Zakuani, Garmston (List 73mins), Wagstaff, Hessenthaler, Reilly, Byrne, Wilkinson (Eaves 58mins), Parker. Subs not used: O’Neill, Ogilvie, Stevenson, Hadler, Nasseri.

Attendance: 3,850 (215 away)

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