Published: 14:45, 10 July 2021
| Updated: 15:01, 10 July 2021
Gillingham struck a last-minute equaliser at Welling United in their opening senior pre-season match.
Danny Lloyd and Vadaine OIiver put the Gills two goals ahead inside the opening 15 minutes before a quickfire double from Dipo Akinyemi levelled it up for Steve Lovell’s National South side. The hosts got infront with a penalty scored by Lyle Della-Verde before John Akinde made it 3-3.
Gillingham had their senior players out on show for the first time, including all six of their summer signings. A strong starting XI gave way to a more youthful side after the turnaround.
Fans got to see new recruit Lloyd open his account with a header into the bottom corner after six minutes, there in the right place after Jack Tucker had flicked on Kyle Dempsey’s free-kick.
It was 2-0 with 14 minutes gone. Oliver had already headed an effort onto the crossbar early on but made his mark with a nice chip over the home keeper after Olly Lee played him in with a well-weighted ball forward.
Gillingham were undone, however, by powerful home forward Akinyemi.
The hosts got their first goal back on 26 minutes, Akinyemi showing his strength to make space before curling the ball past keeper Aaron Chapman.
A second goal arrived shortly after when he burst forward centrally before firing home. He might have had a third soon after had another shot not been blocked.
Gillingham went close with a couple more efforts, Dempsey firing over and Lee missing with a back heel. The sides reached the break level at 2-2.
Steve Evans named a different side in the second half, with newcomers David Tutonda and Ben Reeves making appearances. Robbie McKenzie missed out through injury. Several youngsters were included after the break, including midfielders Sam Gale and Ethan Smith, along with teenage central defender Freddie Carter.
John Akinde was in on goal early after the restart, latching onto a ball forward from Carter, but the keeper got a vital touch.
Welling got themselves infront from the penalty spot after a foul by Carter. Della-Verde converted with 15 minutes remaining.
Gillingham introduced more youngsters late on with Josh Chambers and Joseph Gbode playing the last 10 minutes.
The match ended level when Ben Reeves played in Akinde and he slipped the ball past the keeper.
Gillingham: Chapman, Lintott, Akehurst, Ehmer, Tucker, Woods, O’Keefe, Lee, Dempsey, Lloyd, Lee, Oliver. Second half: Chapman, Jackson, Tutonda, Carter, Lintott (Gbode 82mins), Smith, Gale, Woods (Chambers 82mins), MacDonald, Reeves, Akinde.