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Wigan Athletic 3 Gillingham 2: Ben Reeves and Stuart O’Keefe score for Gills but Will Keane’s double helps Latics to victory

Gillingham made a game of it in the second half at Wigan Athletic but were left with nothing from the League 1 clash.

Wigan dominated the opening half, scoring through Will Keane and Stephen Humphrys. Gillingham responded after the break and goals from Ben Reeves and Stuart O’Keefe levelled it up only for Wigan’s Keane to hit a winner. It’s now 12 games without a win in the league for this troubled Gillingham side who dropped to the bottom of the league on Saturday.

Danny Lloyd was taken off at the break Picture: KPI
Danny Lloyd was taken off at the break Picture: KPI

This was a clash of the division’s form team Wigan against a Gills side without a win in three months.

Caretaker boss Steve Lovell made a couple of changes to his starting XI as Danny Lloyd and Mustapha Carayol got the nod to start. Norwich loan striker Tom Dickson-Peters made the trip and warmed up but wasn’t involved.

Gillingham were expecting a tough afternoon and they got it.

Just eight minutes were on the clock when Wigan got their first, Gwion Edwards reacting quicker than Mustapha Carayol to a throw and he whipped in the cross for Keane who beat Max Ehmer to the ball.

It was one-way traffic throughout the opening half. Tom Naylor headed an effort onto the top of the bar and with 21 minutes played the home side had their second.

Humphrys was alert to a ball forward and got away from Ehmer, swapping passes with Edwards before driving a low shot past Jack Tucker and keeper Pontus Dahlberg into the far corner.

Keane almost got his second of the afternoon with a shot from the edge of the box that Dahlberg turned onto the post.

Robbie McKenzie in action for Gillingham Picture: KPI
Robbie McKenzie in action for Gillingham Picture: KPI

Gillingham then almost handed the hosts a goal on a plate. Ryan Jackson’s ball back to Dahlberg lacked pace and Wigan were once again first on it through Humphrys, he picked out Keane in the box and after he danced round the keeper his shot was headed off the line by Ehmer.

It had been a sorry 45 minutes for the Gills, lucky to be only two goals down and without a shot. Lovell made two changes with Charlie Kelman replacing Carayol and Reeves on for Danny Lloyd at the break.

Gillingham showed some positive signs early in the second half, winning a corner which was cleared and then a throw that Jackson hurled in but Oliver couldn’t quite connect.

It was substitute Reeves who got the Gills back in the game, striking the ball low and into the bottom corner after Oliver had nodded a long ball forward into his path.

It was no longer a one-sided match but Wigan remained a threat. Dahlberg saved routinely from Max Power and Edwards before a super stop denied Jack Whatmough as he came close to heading in at the far post.

Gillingham were back on level terms with 20 minutes left when O’Keefe fired in low from just inside the box after Wigan were unable to get any distance on clearing Jackson’s cross.

The score was level for just seven minutes. Wigan got back infront when James McClean delivered a corner to the far post, an unmarked player headed back across and Keane tapped it home.

Gillingham celebrate getting back into the game at Wigan Athletic Picture: KPI
Gillingham celebrate getting back into the game at Wigan Athletic Picture: KPI

Wigan: Amos, Watts, Naylor, Whatmough, Edwards (Kerr 67mins), Power, Keane, Shinnie, McClean, Darikwa, Humphrys (Massey 87mins). Subs: Jones, Pearce, Bayliss, Aasgard, Sze.

Gillingham: Dahlberg, Jackson, Tucker, Ehmer, McKenzie, O'Keefe, Lee, Dempsey, Lloyd (Reeves 46mins (Akinde 78mins)), Carayol (Kelman 46mins), Oliver. Subs: Chapman, Bennett, Tutonda, Sithole.

Attendance: 9,359 (196 away)

Referee: Carl Boyeson

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