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Fleetwood Town 1 Gillingham 1: Alex Jakubiak scores a late equaliser to cancel out Paddy Madden’s opener

Alex Jakubiak delivered the moment of quality to equalise for Gillingham in a game of few clear-cut chances.

Paddy Madden struck for the hosts to put them ahead after the break but substitute Jakubiak levelled it up late on with a fine finish.

Alex Jakubiak scores Gillingham's equaliser Picture: Ady Kerry (24270684)
Alex Jakubiak scores Gillingham's equaliser Picture: Ady Kerry (24270684)

Reaction: We just weren't at it, says boss Evans

Gillingham turned up to a bitterly cold Highbury Stadium to be greeted by strong winds and rain. It’s was not a day for the faint hearted.

Steve Evans’ in-form team, who had won five of their last six in all competitions, had beaten Sunderland in their previous match and there was a chance on Saturday to climb into the top half of the table.

There were a few miss-timed challenged a several miss-placed passes that littered the early part of the game as both teams adjusted to the conditions.

Barry Fuller put a chance over the bar for the Gills before Wes Burns headed the best chance of the half wide for the hosts, failing to find the target after getting on the end of an inviting cross from Paddy Madden.

Gills’ best opportunity of the first 45 minutes fell to Stuart O’Keefe, trying to find the bottom corner after Tom O’Connor’s corner was cleared into his path, but defender Peter Clarke was there to make sure it didn’t reach its destination.

Olly Lee battles for the ball at Fleetwood Picture: Ady Kerry (24265248)
Olly Lee battles for the ball at Fleetwood Picture: Ady Kerry (24265248)

Danny Andrew blazed an early second half chance over the bar after being picked out by the impressive Burns.

The home side took a 56th minute lead with Kyle Dempsey creating the chance after winning the ball off Jack Tucker. He played it to Madden, who exchanges passes with Josh Morris, before guiding the ball home.

Fleetwood continued to keep the pressure up, looking for a killer second, prompting the Gills to introduce winger Mark Marshall and striker Alex Jakubiak in a double change with 20 minutes left. The visitors also changed shape with three upfront as they looked to get back into the game.

Fleetwood nearly had another when Marshall was unable to cut out a pass to Morris but the midfielder was unable to capitalise.

Brandon Hanlan in action for the Gills at Fleetwood Picture: Ady Kerry (24265226)
Brandon Hanlan in action for the Gills at Fleetwood Picture: Ady Kerry (24265226)

Keeper Jack Bonham had to turn an effort from Burns over the bar but with seven minutes left the Gills levelled.

Olly Lee took the ball forward, played it to Mikael Mandron and he laid it into the path of Jakubiak, who bent it past the home keeper.

Morris put a good chance wide moments later for the hosts and Ben Pringle went close for Gillingham as they pushed for a winner late on.

Fleetwood: Crellin, Coyle, Andrew, Clarke, Souttar, Burns, Dempsey, Evans (Saunders 89mins), Morris, Madden, Sowerby. Subs not used: Cairns, Eastham, McAleny, Coutts, Biggins, Garner.

Gillingham: Bonham, Fuller (Marshall 69mins), Ogilvie, Ehmer, Tucker, O'Connor (Pringle 83mins), O'Keefe (Jakubiak 69mins), Jones, Lee, Mandron, Hanlan. Subs not used: Walsh, Hodson, Ndjoli, Charles-Cook.

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