On loan striker comes off the bench and makes immediate impact as Gills secure deserved point at Fleetwood.
Alex Jakubiak came off the bench to give Gillingham a hard-fought point away at Fleetwood Town on Saturday in a 1-1 draw.
Paddy Madden’s close-range finish gave Fleetwood the lead early on in the second half at the Highbury Stadium, before Jakubiak’s brilliant curling shot earned the Gills a point with ten minutes to play at Highbury.
Steve Evans made one change to the Gillingham side who picked up a dramatic win over Sunderland last week. Mark Byrne dropped out after picking up a serious knee injury, with Stuart O’Keefe returning to the side.
After a cagey first 15 minutes, the Gills had the first chance of the game. Brandon Hanlan did well to break into the area on the right, with the ball eventually falling to the feet of Barry Fuller, who was just unable to keep his shot down.
At the other end, Fleetwood’s first opening came when Wes Burns drove down the right side, and dangerously flashed a delivery across goal which no one was able to get on the end of. It was almost a repeat a few minutes later, this time with his low cross evading everyone in the box.
Burns came inches from giving his side the lead soon after, as he got on the end of Paddy Madden’s cross, but he somehow put his header wide of the target. Stuart O’Keefe came as close as any Gills player after 42 minutes. After the ball dropped to him from Tommy O’Connor’s corner, his goal bound shot was blocked on the line.
H/T- Fleetwood Town 0-0 Gillingham
Fleetwood had the first chance of the second half, as Burns found Danny Andrew in room on the left, and he drilled his shot over the bar from the left corner of the penalty area. With 55 minutes on the clock, the hosts were ahead as Josh Morris squared for Paddy Madden, who turned home to make it 1-0.
With 68 minutes played, the Gills made a double change, with Mark Marshall and Alex Jakubiak coming on to replace Barry Fuller and Stuart O’Keefe.
Fleetwood had another opportunity with 15 minutes to play as Ched Evans found Morris, but Jack Bonham closed him down well and made the save. Burns had the next shot for the home side, a left-footed strike from the edge of the area which was helped over the bar by Bonham.
With 10 minutes to play, the Gills were level. Mikael Mandron found Jakubiak on the left, and he curled the ball brilliantly beyond Billy Crellin into the far corner. 1-1.
Manager Steve Evans made his final change immediately after the goal, sending on Ben Pringle in place of Tommy O’Connor.
Not long after Fleetwood nearly regained the lead, as Evans crossed for Morris, who put his shot wide of the target from near the penalty spot. At the other end, Marshall set up Olly Lee on the edge of the area, who sliced his shot well wide.
F/T- Fleetwood Town 1-1 Gillingham
Fleetwood: Crellin, Coyle, Andrew, Clarke, Souttar, Burns, Dempsey, Morris, Sowerby, Evans (Saunders 88), Madden
Unused subs: Cairns, Eastham, McAleny, Coutts, Biggins, Garner
Gillingham: Bonham, Fuller (Marshall 68), Ehmer, Tucker, Ogilvie, Jones, O’Keefe (Jakubiak 68), O’Connor (Pringle 79), Lee, Hanlan, Mandron
Unused subs: Walsh, Hodson, Ndjoli, Charles-Cook
Referee: Mr G Salisbury