Jack Evans strikes in draw at Beechings CrossOnly a late save from keeper Seb Brown to thwart George Humber denied Gills Development side a win against AFC Wimbledon at a cold and wet Beechings Cross this afternoon.
It was the least that Mark Patterson’s side deserved having played some neat football in the tricky conditions before deservedly equalising through Jack Evans’ late strike.
There was good news for manager Martin Allen with left-back Joe Martin having a 45 minute run out as he looks to make a return from his hand injury after five weeks out.
It was Gillingham that started the better with Devante McKain, Bradley Dack and Martin all going close before Jack Payne forced former Dover Athletic keeper Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz to help over his fierce strike.
At the other end Daren Hawkes saved from both Mat Mitchell-King and Charlie Strutton while the latter also put a low shot across the face of goal.
Nathan Nyafli fired over and Dack’s free-kick was touched over before the Dons took the lead with the final kick of the first-half.
A free-kick was harshly awarded against Martin around 20-yards out which Dutch centre-back Pim Balkestein managed to drill home.
H/T: 0 – 1
In a half time re-shuffle Joe Carter took over at left back in place of Joe Martin with Tom Brunt moving forward in to midfield.
Balkestein put a long range free-kick over in the opening stages of the second-half and Strutton hit another effort over the top before Brunt went close at the other end from a neatly executed half-volley.
With the Gills in the ascendancy Evans twice went close, first he forced a low save from Jaimez-Ruiz with a snap-shot and then went close with a dipping free-kick which seemed to clip the bar.
Hawkes was then called into action making a double save and Huw Johnson put a shot wide before the equaliser came with five minutes remaining with a great team goal.
Dack found Evans with a great cross-field ball, he laid it off to the overlapping Josh Maughan. He quickly played a return pass inside and Evans fired home past despairing substitute keeper Seb Brown from just inside the area.
With time running out the Gills almost won it, Humber slipped a tackle in the box but the young striker was denied by Brown who blocked at close range.
Gills: Hawkes (Nalder 85), Parter (Maughan 85), Martin (Carter H/T), Evans, McKain, Brunt, Hessenthaler, Dack, Nyafli (Humber 75), Payne (Freiter), Haysman