Gillingham clinch first away point of the 2014/15 league season with a 0-0 draw against Oldham at Boundary ParkGillingham picked up their first point on their travels this season following a hard fought 0-0 draw against Oldham at Boundary Park on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts had a number of chances to win the game but couldn’t find a way past Stephen Bywater who had a fantastic game in goal.
Jermaine McGlashan and Cody McDonald came the closest for the visitors, but in the end the teams had to settle for a point each.
Manager Peter Taylor kept faith with the same 11 that put in a sterling performance against Coventry last Friday night, meaning McDonald started up front with McGlashan and Brennan Dickenson providing support from the flanks.
John Egan was given the Captain’s armband for the game, with Callum Davies given the nod at right full back.
Danny Kedwell (knee) and Doug Loft (Achilles) did not travel with the squad.
Luke Norris and Antonio German provided the attacking options from the substitute’s bench.
The first five minutes was fairly even but Oldham soon took a foothold on the game and had two good opportunities in quick succession.
First, following a sliced clearance from Captain John Egan, Danny Philliskirk launched a 20 yard effort into the hands of Bywater before Dominic Poleon struck the side netting following some good work on the left flank.
Gillingham started getting into some good positions but it was Oldham who were creating the openings and on 17 minutes skipper Liam Kelly launched a 25 yard effort narrowly over the crossbar with Bywater at full stretch.
Six minutes later and Drayton forced a fine save from Bywater, the on loan Millwall stopper catching the effort with Philliskirk almost certain to score with any potential follow up.
Drayton went even closer shortly after – Philliskirk found space on the left hand side, found his team-mate in the box but the midfielder put his left foot curling effort just past the post.
Oldham continued to press as half time approached but just before the interval Gillingham created their best chance when a deep cross by Martin to the back post was met by the sprinting Jermaine McGlashan, but his header was caught by Paul Rachubka.
Oldham didn’t take long to create their first chance of the half – a corner made its way to the far post where Carl Winchester was waiting for it, but his low drilled effort was well stopped by Bywater.
On 54 minutes Philliskirk forced a top draw save from Bywater when his shot on the turn was palmed behind by the keeper, and the former Premier League man was alert once more midway through the half when he thwarted an attempt by Mike Jones.
Gills did have their moments, most notably on 71 minutes when Martin advanced down the left hand side, evaded a challenge and delivered a low cross into the penalty area. Dickenson got on the end of it but his effort was stopped by Rachubka.
Six minutes later and the hosts tried again – this time Winchester improvised well to produce a snapshot with two Gills defenders looking to deprive him of possession, but it cleared the upright.
Substitute Rhys Turner very nearly turned provider for the opening goal shortly after coming on. A short pass from Drayton to the left side of the box was played across goal, Bywater was beaten but thankfully for Gillingham there wasn’t a blue shirt on hand to convert.
As the clock ticked down the visitors sensed victory and ploughed forward in search of a winner.
The best chance falling to McDonald who had a strong volley saved by Rachubka before being flagged offside when he regained possession seconds later.
Oldham nearly stole it at the death when Amari Morgan-Smith, on for Dayton, fired an effort over the bar from close range following a pinpoint cross from the right wing.
The teams had to share the points, with Gills keeping a hard earned clean sheet.
Oldham: Rachubka, B.Wilson, J.Wilson, Elokobi, Mills, Jones, Kelly, Winchester, Dayton (Morgan-Smith 82), Philliskirk (Wilkinson 64), Poleon (Turner 64).
Unused subs: Coleman, Tidser, Kusunga, Brown.
Gills: Bywater, Egan, Davies (Pritchard 66), Hause, Martin, McGlashan, A Morris, Hessenthaler, Dack (Norris 66), McDonald (German 88), Dickenson.
Unused subs: G Morris, Fish, Legge, Linganzi.
Attendance: 3785 (154 Gills)
Referee: Mr D Webb