Gills come back from 3-0 down to secure dramatic last minute equaliser at Beechings.
Goalkeeper Charlie Walker earned Gillingham a much needed point after an incredible last minute equaliser against AFC Wimbledon at Beechings on Saturday.
The Gills came back from 3-0 down and showed great character to do so in what was a thrilling game of football which could have seen the result go either way.
Craig Stone’s side were looking for a reaction after last week’s 1-0 loss to top of the table Northampton, and almost went one up inside 15 minutes when Jimmy Witt’s cross hit the bar. A promising start for the home team.
Slightly against the run of play the Dons went ahead just minutes later, which seemed to swing momentum in the visitors’ favour. Gillingham couldn’t seem to create any real chances due to wave after wave of Wimbledon attack.
Gills then went 2-0 down inside half an hour after some rather intricate play on the edge of the box, and a smart finish which gave Walker no chance.
The Dons forwards continued to cause problems for the Gillingham backline as things went from bad to worse for them. Blustery conditions made it almost impossible to deal with the long ball on a number of occasions and resulted in a third Wimbledon goal.
Gillingham managed to pull one back just before half time, which gave them a glimmer of hope for the second half. Toby Bancroft skilfully beat his man on the left wing and picked out Tommy Lamb on the edge of the box. Lamb hit it on the half volley and fired it past the keeper to make it 3-1.
Gillingham started the second half well, and had the first opportunity after 50 minutes. Harry Laing whipped in a wonderful free-kick towards the back post which had all the defenders beaten, however the pace on it was just a bit too much for Vinnie Medhurst to direct his effort at goal.
The home side then thought they had a second as it looked like Jay Hards’ close range effort went over the line, however, despite the protests of the players, the decision was no goal.
This seemed to spur on the Gills who were desperate to get a second, and they eventually did just that. Set pieces were proving to be a weak point for Wimbledon, who failed to defend a corner swung in by Laing that was met at the far post by Harvey Lintott, who managed to prod home from close range.
The remaining 15 minutes saw Wimbledon defending deep and looked well organised to stop any further Gillingham attacks. It looked as though this was going to get the job done for the visitors, until a last minute goal from an unlikely source in goalkeeper Charlie Walker.
Walker’s equaliser sent the Gills into bedlam as his long kick upfield bounced favourably thanks to the wind and looped over the opposing keeper into the net, causing celebrations on and off the pitch.
With the scores at three a piece after the final whistle, Gillingham secured a hard fought point and will no doubt give the side confidence going into their next game against Barnet.
Gills: Walker, Lintott (Lott 81), Witt (Chambers 65), Lamb (Maher 60), Baker, Medhurst, Hards, Baker-Moran, Bancroft, Laing, Leach.
Scorers: Lamb, Lintott, Walker