Gillingham suffer defeat at the hands of the League 1 leaders.
Gillingham suffered their first defeat of 2018 with a 2-0 loss against high-flying Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Wigan bossed the first half and deservedly took the lead through Will Grigg before Nick Powell doubled the Latics advantage before the interval. Gills best chance fell to Tom Eaves who struck the post at 1-0, but other than that Paul Cook’s side looked comfortable in possession and fully utilised their home advantage.
Gillingham were better in the second half and created a number of half chances, but were unable to find a way back into the game.
Steve Lovell named the same XI that beat Fleetwood Town at MEMS Priestfield Stadium last weekend with Josh Parker lining up alongside Tom Eaves in attack, while Gabriel Zakuani was able to shake off a slight knock to partner Max Ehmer in the heart of defence.
Wigan fielded their usual potent strike force with Nick Powell supporting Will Grigg up front, and it was the hosts who had the better of the opening exchanges with Zakuani doing well to get a touch on a low cross from the left before Garmston hacked away the danger.
Powell tried his luck on eight minutes from 30 yards with the ball sitting up nicely for the attacking midfielder; his effort was well struck but cleared the cross bar by a couple of yards.
The early pressure paid off on 11 minutes. Wigan came forward and found space on the left hand side; a low cross from near the byline cut open the Gills defence, Holy was unable to get a touch to divert it clear and the unmarked Grigg tapped it in from close range.
The striker nearly got a second seven minutes later but this time there was enough pressure on the forward to prevent his header seriously troubling Holy.
With Wigan in control it looked as if they would be more likely to find a second goal, but against the run of play Gillingham nearly found an equaliser. O’Neill’s cross found Eaves who had to adjust his body quickly, he made enough contact to divert the ball towards the far post. It hit the woodwork before being cleared.
Grigg was involved again shortly afterwards; a free-kick just outside the box had been deflected wide by the wall, however a follow up cross found the striker at the far post, his header was across Holy and the effort struck the bar before the defence did enough to relieve the pressure.
An effort from Callum Reilly was comfortably stopped by Christian Walton, and Gills were made to pay for not taking full use of their half chances when Wigan went two-nil up on 34 minutes. A shot from Colclough was palmed wide by Holy, the resulting corner was taken by Max Power and Powell shook off his marker and buried a header beyond the keeper from just six yards out.
Both sides continued to play in the same way; Gills refusing to give in but coming up against a very strong Wigan side who looked continually threatening in possession until the break.
Gills started brighter in the second half although Wigan still looked in command, especially in defence. A half chance for Callum Reilly went begging following a corner while Holy had to be alert following a mis-hit back pass from Zakuani.
A Dan Burn effort was headed wide of the target before Jacobs saw an effort from 20 yards find the away supporters in the back of the stand. List, having come on for Parker, forced a good stop from Walton when his shot from a tight angle struck the boot of the advancing keeper.
Lee Martin made way for Franck Moussa shortly after with the skipper having given everything for the cause. The visitors enjoyed more possession as the half went on but were unable to find a breakthrough; List denied a goal in the dying moments when he was demmed to be in an offside position.
Wigan: Walton, Byrne, Burn, Jacobs, Dunkley, James, Colclough (Walker 55), Power, Morsy, Powell (Fulton 83), Grigg (Vaughan 65).
Unused subs: Jones, Elder, Bruce, Roberts
Gills: Holy, O’Neill, Ehmer, Zakuani, Garmston, Byrne, Hessenthaler, Reilly, Martin (Moussa 71), Parker (List 59), Eaves (Wilkinson 83)
Unused subs: Hadler, Ogilvie, Nugent, Nash
Referee: Mr N Kinseley