Cody McDonald's double not enough to earn the Gills their first league win at Brisbane Road since 1996.Two former Gillingham players helped struggling Leyton Orient come from 3-1 down to earn a point against the Gills at the Matchroom Stadium on Easter Monday.
After Lloyd James had put the hosts ahead from the penalty spot, Jermaine McGlashan and Cody McDonald's 17th and 18th goals of the season had put the Gills in the driving seat.
However, Darius Henderson and Josh Wright struck in the final 25 minutes to give Orient a point.
Manager Justin Edinburgh made three changes from Friday's starting line-up against Fleetwood, bringing in Leon Legge, Jake Hessenthaler and Cody McDonald for Gavin Hoyte, Aaron Morris and John Marquis.
The game started at a ferocious pace, and the scoreline could have been 2-2 within five minutes.
In the opening 60 seconds, former O's goalkeeper Glenn Morris brilliantly tipped over Dean Cox's diving header.
After the resulting corner was cleared, ex-Liverpool defender Andrea Dossena gave the ball away to McGlashan, who rounded goalkeeper Alex Cisak, but was forced too wide to fire into an empty net.
Bradley Dack then headed just wide from a Doug Loft free-kick that he had won on the right wing, before Chris Dagnall almost headed the hosts in front from a similar position.
The game then ettled down into a largely midfield battle, although Cox had a volley safely deflected into Morris's hands on 27 minutes.
Orient then took the lead after 31 minutes from the penalty spot. Max Ehmer challenged Ryan Hedges, who initially managed to stay upright then appeared to take advantage of the German's position on the ground to win the spot kick. James then fired into the top corner to open the scoring.
But they weren't leading for long after a brilliantly-worked Gills equaliser 10 minutes before the break. Hessenthaler's corner fell to Luke Norris at the far post, whose cross to the unmarked McGlashan allowed the winger to slot home from six yards.
Loft wasn't far off giving the Gills the lead at half time when he shot just wide from 25 yards, before McDonald did exactly that in the 43rd minute.
From a seemingly innocuous position, Dack delivered a pinpoint cross that McDonald glided into the bottom corner with his head.
The visitors hadn't finished there, either, as Norris took advantage of more lapse Orient defending to force Cisak into an excellent save from his powerful volley.
Gillingham started brightly after the break, and nearly went 3-1 up within the first minute of the second half. Following more trickery from McGlashan, Norris's teasing cross was inches from being slotted home by McDonald. Orient failed to clear, and Hessenthaler appeared to be fouled in the box, although no penalty was given by referee Mark Haywood.
Norris came close with a curling effort on 52 minutes, before Dack blazed just wide after cutting inside of Orient defender Shane Lowry in the box.
Lowry was caught out again seconds later, when Norris turned him in the box. This time Haywood did give the penalty, which McDonald dispatched with apparent ease after 56 minutes.
Morris got down well to save Hedges's volley from the edge of the area shortly before the hour mark in Orient's first real chance of the second half.
Only a heavy touch denied McDonald the chance to shoot past Cisak for a hat-trick, and Norris fired over the bar after a charging 40-yard run from McGlashan.
Orient were handed a lifeline in the 67th minute when Henderson – who appeared to be booed by some home fans when he was introduced as a second half – beat Morris at the second time of asking following good play by Dagnall.
This goal triggered the start of a frantic final 20 minutes, in which numerous chances were created by both sides.
Dack had two efforts to add to the Gills' lead – the first with a low curling effort that skimmed the post, and another when he flicked Loft's free-kick into Cisak's hands – before Henderson wasted a brilliant chance to head home an equaliser after Dagnall's cutback.
Dagnall was inches away from an equaliser after he latched onto Jobi McAnuff's through ball and shot wide 10 minutes from time.
Norris was twice denied by Cisak, who then stopped McDonald from completing a hat-trick by producing a world class save from the striker's volley.
And after McAnuff had hit the outside of the post from close range, Wright beat Morris to level the game in the 85th minute.
Aaron Morris had the best chance to earn the Gills a late winner, but his long-range effort went just wide of the post.
Leyton Orient: Cisak, Cuthbert, Baudry, Lowry, Dossena (Clarke 88), Hedges (McAnuff 60), Wright, James, Cox, Mooney (Henderson 55), Dagnall.
Unused subs: Woods, O'Neill, Simpson, Taylor.
Gillingham: G Morris, Egan, Legge (Hoyte 78), Ehmer, Bell, Loft, Hessenthaler (A Morris 82), Dack, McGlashan, McDonald, Norris.
Unused subs: Nelson, Muldoon, Freiter, Dickenson, Marquis.
Attendance: 6,394 (1,191 Gillingham )
Referee: Mr M Haywood