GillsConnect News Desk

Dateline: SUNDAY 15 APRIL 2018

 
 

GILLINGHAM’S STARTING LINE-UP & SUBS

Gills: Tomas Holy, Max Ehmer, Gabriel Zakuani, Ben Nugent (Luke O’Neill 59), Scott Wagstaff, Bradley Garmston (Elliot List 73), Mark Byrne, Jake Hessenthaler, Callum Reilly and Conor Wilkinson (Tom Eaves 58).

Unused subs: Tom Hadler, Connor Ogilvie, Bradley Stevenson and Navid Nasseri.

  STORY OF THE MATCH

Gillingham 1

Tom Eaves (pen) (90+2)


Yellow Cards:

None


Red Card: None


Ball Possession: 48%


MoM: Tomas Holy

Attendance 3,859 (215 Gillingham fans - see right)

Oldham Athletic 1

Duckens Nazon (45+2)

Yellow Cards:

Ousmane Fane (26)

Jack Byrne (70)

  1. G.Edmundson (79)

Rob Hunt (89)

Red Card:

Wilfried Moimbé (90)

Ball Possession: 52%

MoM: Johny Placide

Goals win matches but the Gills have not been finding the net recently and this game only produced a late penalty to earn them a deserved draw against an average Oldham.


The home side scored in first-half stoppage time and the Gills equalised in second half stoppage time. In between there was not a lot of skill on show as scrappy play dominated.


Gills 18-year search for an away victory at Oldham has to continue but possibly not next year as Oldham are still in relegation trouble.

Although with only one goal from the Gills squad in their last five, now six matches, boss Steve Lovell named an unchanged line-up to the team that drew 0-0 with Blackburn during the week. Luke O'Neill and top scorer Eaves remained on the substitutes  bench. The ‘lumping’ of the ball forward, for the most part, continued for Conor Wilkinson and Josh Parker, who clearly wanted it hit to their feet.


The early pressure was from Gills with Wagstaff being particularly prominent but the first real attempt on goal came from Oldham. The dangerous Doyle put in a cross that was good enough to beat Ben Nugent, and a stretching Bradley Garmston, but the striker’s Oldham shot just went behind the post.


Ten minutes into the game and Josh Parker was brought down and the free-kick was taken by Max Ehmer. The ball into the box was cleared up-field and it took a great challenge from Gabriel Zakuani to stop a running Doyle and he had to concede a corner.

Scott Wagstaff was causing problems early on and earned the displeasure of the Oldham fans when chasing a through ball from Josh Parker he went down in the area claiming a penalty. It looked like a dive to most, although the referee ignored the appeals and kept the yellow card in his pocket. A minute later Wagstaff ran at goal and let fly into row Z much to the amusement of the home fans.


A superb through ball towards the lively Nazon had Tomas Holy (right) in great form as he ran out to smother the attempt and conceded a corner. Oldham’s attempt at the long ball was looking more dangerous than Gills, as another left Mark Byrne exposed, but he was alert to the danger, intercepted and stopped the break.

Tom Eaves scores the

90+2 minute penalty to secure Gills the draw

Oldham’s McEleney had a half chance inside the area but his shot was blocked by Max Ehmer but fell for the impressive Jack Byrne, but he could only half-hit his shot directly at Tomas Holy.


There followed a brilliant save by Oldham’s goalie, Johny Placide, to deny Conor Wilkinson. The Gills striker was unlucky and from a tight angle he powered his shot but Placide stood his ground to strike the ball and divert it clear. A minute later and another chance fell for Wilkinson. Again inside the box and the ball arriving quickly, he strikes an effort towards goal but unlucky for Conor a defender came from out of nowhere to make a crucial block for a corner.


On 30 minutes Callum Reilly had a shot blocked but Jack Byrne was away with the clearance driving forward and played in Eoin Doyle. Oldham’s top striker was about to fire inside the area but in comes the steady and secure Gabriel Zakuani with a superb blocking tackle.


Then a moment of danger as free-kick specialist Jack Byrne found Eoin Doyle completely unmarked and he struck the outside of Holy’s right-hand post and then hit the re-bounding ball against the same woodwork. The ball then bounced out of play and the referee assistant was flagging for offside.

With minutes to go to half-time Oldham were pressing for the opening goal and Edmundson’s header from the back post had Tomas Holy making an excellent save to deny a goal for the home side.


The stalemate didn’t last long, as in the second minute of added time in the first half, Oldham opened the scoring with a delightful goal. Duckens Nazon (right) scored for the second time in his last two matches when he outpaced Bradley Garmston running to the right-hand side of the area. The quick moving Nazson managed half-a-yard of space around Garmston before whipping in a right-foot shot that flashed across Tomas Holy into the far corner.

The second half got underway and Conor Wilkinson was unlucky again as he received the ball on the edge of the area and found space for a strike. Oldham goalie Placide was rooted to the spot and the ball flashed inches past his left-hand post.


Jack Byrne was again proving difficult to manage as he nutmegs Gills midfielder Mark Byrne and sets up Eoin Doyle but thankfully the Oldham striker, who is definately out-of-form considering his scoring start to the campaign, fails to make good contact inside the area with just Tomas Holy to beat.


Just shy of the hour Steve Lovell sent on top scorer Tom Eaves for Conor Wilkinson and Luke O’Neill replaced Ben Nugent. Almost immediately Oldham goalie Johny Placide made the save of the match when he somehow got down low to scramble away a Jake Hessenthaler header. Mark Byrne crossed from the right and the ball was met by a diving Hessenthaler from two yards out - unbelievable save.


Wit his first half effort paying off with a goal, Duckens Nazon tried another passing run, using his undoubted speed past Bradley Garmston. This time the Gills defender matched him all the way to stop the attack. Tom Eaves showed his strength and ran fully 35 yards before cutting inside and exchanging passes with Luke O’Neill but goalie Johny Placide was quick enough to claim the ball.


Steve Lovell sent on Elliott List replacing Bradley Garmston and then a possible turning point of the match when Oldham really should have made it two via striker Doyle. He controlled the ball well as it arrived in the area but from a very good position he shot just wide with just Tomas Holy to beat.


As the game moved toward its close Gills created more urgency and Oldham began to fall back, their players looked nervous and certainly their supporters - with relegation still a distinct possibly - wanted the final whistle. Several bookings for Oldham from referee Salisbury and then Gills got their break.


A penalty was awarded - most in the ground were not sure why - but a foul on Max Ehmer could have been the reason. Referee Salisbury issued his second red in as many games by showing a straight red card to Wilfried Moimbé and Gills had a lifeline in the match. Tom Eaves struck a well aimed penalty into the bottom right-hand corner. In the remaining minutes that were added on Gills could have won the match following decent efforts from Tom Eaves and Scott Wagstaff.