Kyle Dempsey and Dominic Samuel do the damage as Gills win a home league fixture on a Tuesday night for the first time in five years.
A second-half Dominic Samuel volley proved to be the winning goal at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium as Gillingham broke their five-year home winless league run on Tuesday nights.
Kyle Dempsey had given the Gills the lead in the third minute following a great angled pass by Jordan Graham which put him through on goal, and he curled the ball past Connal Trueman into the back of the net.
Ben Heneghan put the visitors on level terms just short of the half hour mark. He was first to meet Callum Reilly’s cross and glanced the ball beyond a helpless Jack Bonham.
Samuel scored what proved to be the winning goal just ten minutes after half-time. Connor Ogilvie curled a brilliant ball towards the six-yard box, and Samuel was first to it whilst being unmarked and did well to volley the ball past Trueman.
Steve Evans made one change to the starting eleven that drew 1-1 to Charlton at the weekend as Alex MacDonald returned from suspension to replace Scott Robertson who the manager decided to leave out of the squad as the Celtic loanee regains full fitness.
There was also a change on the substitutes bench as Declan Drysdale replaced Josh Eccles.
The Gills took just three minutes to take the lead at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.
Alex MacDonald did well to win possession, and the ball got worked to Jordan Graham. Graham did brilliantly to spot Dempsey’s overlapping run to his left and played the ball through the Wimbledon defence.
Dempsey latched onto it one-on-one and curled it past Connal Trueman with his left foot.
Just after ten minutes, Connor Ogilvie came close to doubling Gillingham’s lead.
Graham continued to cause trouble for the Wimbledon defence and won a free-kick. His curled cross was towards the front post, which was met first by Ogilvie, but his header went over the crossbar.
After a quiet fifteen-minute spell the visitors equalised through Ben Heneghan in the 28th minute.
Callum Reilly curled a cross into the centre of the penalty area, and Heneghan won the header and flicked it towards the bottom far corner, and it had enough to beat Jack Bonham who, at full stretch, couldn't do anything about it.
Ryan Jackson had a chance following a great spell of possession from the Gills.
The hosts managed to work the ball from the left side of the pitch over to the right. Graham flicked the ball onto Jackson, and after working it inside the penalty area the defender tried to find the far bottom corner, but it was cleared by visiting defence.
In the 43rd minute Gills almost capped off a brilliant counter-attack with a goal.
Bonham retrieved the ball from a corner and kicked it long to Dempsey. He used his pace to beat the Wimbledon defender and got inside the penalty area. Unfortunately, his ball across goal towards Graham was not strong enough, and it allowed the visitors to clear their lines.
HALF-TIME: Gillingham 1-1 AFC Wimbledon
Just after half-time Ryan Longman forced Bonham into a save.
He won a header inside the penalty area, and strongly aimed it towards goal. It took a strong hand from the Gills keeper to push the ball over the crossbar and out for a corner.
Robbie McKenzie was next to go close on 55 minutes. AFC Wimbledon headed a Graham free-kick as far as the Gills man, and his shot looked set to test the goalkeeper, but the visitors got a vital block in.
However, within a minute, Dominic Samuel put Gillingham back in the lead.
Ogilvie found space down the left-hand side and curled a cross towards the six-yard box. Samuel managed to get on the end of it unmarked, and did well to keep his volley on target which beat Trueman for power.
Just moments later, Dempsey almost got his second goal of the evening.
He took a free-kick from 25 yards out, and his curling effort hit the post whilst it left Trueman stuck on the spot.
At the other end, just after the hour, it took a great Bonham double save to keep the scores level.
Jack Rudoni was unmarked inside the penalty area and fired an effort towards goal which was saved by Bonham. The Gills keeper then saved the follow up by Ollie Palmer as Wimbledon went in search of an equaliser.
Samuel almost had his second of the evening, but it took a good save by Trueman with his feet to deny the Gills striker from the right side of the box.
Vadaine Oliver had a good chance in the 72nd minute following some good build-up play by Gills.
Samuel managed to chest the ball down and lay it off to Oliver, and his curling effort was deflected out for a corner. Unfortunately, the resulting set-piece came to nothing.
Will Nightingale had Gillingham hearts in mouths in the 87th minute.
He got goal side of Jack Tucker and directed a header towards goal, but it somehow went wide of the post from just a few yards as the Gills had a huge let off.
FULL-TIME: Gillingham 2-1 AFC Wimbledon
Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Tucker, Medley, Ogilvie, Dempsey, Graham, McKenzie, MacDonald (Coyle 66’), Oliver (Akinde 85’) Samuel (Woods 73’)
Unused substitutes: Walsh, Maghoma, Drysdale, Willock
AFC Wimbledon: Trueman, Csoka (Thomas 46’), Woodyard (Rudoni 61’), Hartigan, McLoughlin, Heneghan (Nightingale 77’), Longman, Kalambayi, Reilly (Chislett 77’), Pigott (Palmer 61’), Seddon
Unused substitutes: Tzanev, Alexander