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GILLINGHAM FC 3-3 OLDHAM: MATCH REPORT

3 October 2015

Gills continue strong home form with draw against Oldham

Gillingham maintained their unbeaten home record this season with an entertaining 3-3 draw with Oldham at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.

Gillingham led twice through Rory Donnelly but were pegged before the interval thanks an own goal from Brennan Dickenson and Dominic Poleon.

Michael Higdon put the Latics in front for the first time on 55 minutes but Jake Hessenthaler came off the bench to ensure a share of the points.

Manager Justin Edinburgh made one change to the side that defeated Fleetwood 5-1 during the week with the injured Ryan Jackson replaced by Aaron Morris.

Rory Donnelly and Luke Norris continued up front with Jordan Houghton partnering Doug Loft in the centre of midfield.

Both teams went straight on the attack trying to find the early goal, John Egan’s header going wide following a corner from Bradley Dack while at the other end a couple of Oldham set pieces failed to trouble Stuart Nelson.

However it was the Gills who looked more potent and on nine minutes they took the lead. Brennan Dickenson got forward on the left hand side and got to the edge of the penalty area before delivering a perfectly weighted ball for Donnelly who made no mistake with the finish.

Loft missed the target shortly after with a left foot drive before Michael Higdon failed in his attempt to catch Nelson off his line from 20 yards.

The visitors progressively began to ask a few more questions and on 28 minutes drew level – the ball made its way into the area and Gills were unable to clear, Higdon swung a boot at the loose ball and it struck Dickenson which gave Nelson no chance.

Their joy would last just six minutes though with Donnelly striking for a second time – a shot from Loft was blocked, Wright played the ball back for Dickenson who sent a high ball back into the danger zone, the forward made a late run and headed home.

The supporters hardly had time to sit down before Oldham scored again – a ball was played forward for Poleon, he advanced to the edge of the 18-yard box and delicately chipped the advancing Nelson who did his best to narrow the gap but couldn’t stop the ball from rolling into the corner.

Before the break Donnelly very nearly got his hat-trick, a corner from Dack was met by the striker but his header was sent wide of the far post.

H/T: 2-2

Gillingham made a change at the break with Loft being replaced by Jake Hessenthaler and it was the sub who nearly created a third goal.

He got to the byline and delivered a teasing high ball which narrowly missed Donnelly, the fans then wanted a handball decision to go in their favour but the referee waved away their appeals.

On 54 minutes the game was turned on its head when Oldham took the lead – Poleon had time and space on the right hand side to shape up a cross. He picked out Higdon who had made a run towards the far post and on the volley he struck the ball across Nelson and into the corner.

But in an incredible game Gills responded immediately – Wright did very well to retain possession with a host of bodies blocking his route towards goal, the ball eventually made its way to Hessenthaler who stunned Oldham with a first time shot which took a slight deflection before finding the top corner.

This set up a fantastic final half an hour, although chances were few and far between.  Donnelly saw a header go wide while Poloen’s solo run was well halted by Aaron Morris.

The introduction of McDonald came close to sparking a winning goal but neither goalkeeper was beaten for a fourth time, and so the points were shared.

F/T: 3-3

Gillingham: Nelson, A Morris, Egan, Ehmer, Dickenson, Wright (Osadebe 78), Houghton, Loft (Hessenthaler 46), Donnelly, Norris (McDonald 68)
Unused subs: G Morris, Lennon, McGlashan, Williamson

Oldham: Cornell, Wilson, Kelly, Jones, Poleon, Philliskirk, Burn, Fulton (Croft 72), Higdon, Lafferty, Dummigan.
Unused subs: Coleman, Brown, Dieng, Winchester, Yeates, Eckersley

Attendance: 6157

Referee: Mr J Adcock


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