Gills get deserved point at the death as List converts in stoppage time.
A late strike from sub Elliott List rescued a point for Gillingham in a 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers having fallen behind with just four minutes of normal time to play.
Dom Telford, also a sub, put Rovers ahead with the visitors having controlled much of the second half possession wise, however List provided a calm finish deep into stoppage time to secure League 1 safety for the club.
Steve Lovell remained true to his word by making a number of changes for the game, four in total, most notably between the sticks as Tomas Holy returned to the line-up in place of Tom Hadler.
Bradley Garmston, Scott Wagstaff and Gabriel Zakuani also came in for Connor Ogilvie, Jake Hessenthaler and Ben Nugent.
Gills started well and could have taken the lead after just four minutes; a strong run from Garmston on the left resulted in a floated cross to the back post. Wagstaff was better placed than Parker to shoot but the striker didn’t receive a shout and acrobatically got an effort away which was saved by Sam Slocombe.
The visitors were ruthless in their attempts to pressure the Rovers defence but, at the other end, had to be alert to intercept a couple of through passes. Reilly in particular was instrumental in breaking down certain attacks.
On 22 minutes the hosts had their first real chance on goal with Tom Nichols taking an excellent first touch to guide the ball into space, and from 25 yards unleashed a right-footed effort which went just wide of the right post with Holy seemingly comfortable in leaving it.
A few minutes later and the offside flag came to Rovers rescue with Mark Byrne’s long throw finding Eaves. He managed to shake off his marker and get an effort away which struck the post. The ball came out to Martin who found the empty net but as he looked over his shoulder he noticed the linesman’s flag.
Eaves had a header shortly afterwards claimed by Slocombe and Wagstaff saw a shot deflected into the arms of the keeper before Gills narrowly escaped going behind as the half drew to a close.
Garmston’s back pass to Holy lacked power; the keeper quickly got off his line to narrow the gap. Harrison, sliding in, made contact first but the angle was against him and he guided the effort well wide.
Rovers came out of the traps the stronger in the second half and nearly took the lead within a couple of minutes. Ehmer’s headed clearance eventually made its way to Liam Sercombe whose 25-yard driven effort was well gathered by Holy before the same player had another effort deflected by Harrison and away for a goal-kick.
On 53 minutes Martin had another chance to open the scoring; a free-kick from O’Neill was beautifully placed into the six-yard box and the skipper was well placed to hit the target but guided his header just over.
A few minutes later and Reilly went equally close when he found a yard of space on the edge of the box and drilled an effort just past the post, having taken a deflection in the process.
As the clock struck 64 minutes Rovers thought they had taken the lead when a free-kick was partially cleared by Ehmer; a powerful shot rippled the net but thankfully for the Gills it was the wrong side of the goal and Holy cleared from the resulting goal-kick.
Martin and Wilkinson both had chances as Gills went for broke in the final ten minutes, however Bristol Rovers got themselves in front with just a few minutes to go. A cross from the left side byline resulted in Holy making an excellent save, but sub Telford was in the right place to head home from six yards.
It looked as though Gills would leave empty handed, but List did well inside the box to finally beat Slocombe to ensure Lovell’s men went home with a deserved and well earned point.
Rovers: Slocombe, Brown, Lockyer, Sercombe, Nichols, Clarke, Moore (Broom 74), Craig, Bennett, Lines, Harrison (Gaffney 60)
Unused subs: Smith, Broadbent, Bola, Mensah.
Gills: Holy, O’Neill, Ehmer, Zakuani, Garmston, Byrne, Wagstaff, Reilly, Martin, Eaves (List 75), Parker (Wilkinson 68).
Unused subs: Hadler, Ogilvie, Nugent, Nasseri, Hessenthaler
Attendance: 9715 (410)
Referee: Mr O Yates