Gills leave it late to secure a draw at Montgomery Waters Meadow.
A 94th minute equaliser from Jordan Graham ensured Gillingham continued their good form in Sky Bet League One as they battled for a point in a 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury Town.
Brad Walker had headed the hosts in front early in the opening half, and they looked to be on their way to all three points, but Graham once again stole the headlines for Steve Evans’ men with a neat finish in added time.
Gills made the trip to Shropshire looking to make it three wins on the trot in the league, having defeated Wigan and Blackpool in their last two outings, but came away satisfied with a point their performance deserved.
Tommy O’Connor came straight into the starting line-up having re-signed on-loan from Southampton in the week, while Declan Drysdale, the other new addition, had to settle for a place on the bench. Scott Robertson missed out with a slight injury, while Chris Maghoma returned to the squad having received a negative Covid-19 test in the week.
In the driving rain, it was the hosts who threatened first. An acrobatic effort from Shaun Whalley was on target but lacked any real power as Jack Bonham caught the effort easily.
Gills had a great chance to open the scoring just nine minutes in, but after being played through on goal, Vadaine Oliver struck his effort powerfully past the left-hand post.
Just three minutes later, Shrewsbury took the lead. A controversially awarded corner was headed home by Brad Walker from ten yards, as the Shrews struck first. Steve Evans and his Gills side had complaints over the awarding of the corner, with the Gills staff believing Connor Ogilvie was fouled in the build-up. Either way, the goal stood, and Gills were behind. 1-0.
Shrewsbury were certainly putting their foot in and it was becoming a real battle in ever worsening conditions. Sam Ricketts will feel his side should have doubled their advantage midway through the half, but Leon Clarke could only head wide after some good play on the right-wing.
There was one final chance of the half; Josh Vela connecting sweetly from 30 yards. On a wet surface it could have presented a challenge for Jack Bonham, but the Gills keeper got down well to parry the ball away.
Steve Evans introduced Declan Drysdale at the break – the on-loan midfielder holding in the middle alongside Josh Eccles and Tommy O’Connor.
Despite the change Shrewsbury started the second half brightly and came within inches of doubling their lead. A corner from the right wasn’t dealt with by Bonham, and an effort was turned towards goal by Pierre, but Eccles was on hand to turn the ball away off the line.
It looked like being ‘one of those days’ for the Gills when Dominic Samuel’s goal bound effort was blocked by Vadaine Oliver of all people. The number 19 couldn’t do anything to get out of the way, as it struck him and bounced behind for a goal-kick.
With Trae Coyle and John Akinde both introduced, Steve Evans threw everything at the hosts but it appeared to be in vein as the Shrews looked like they were going to get over the line…but then came the late twist.
In the 94th minute, a long throw from Connor Ogilvie was flicked on at the near post. It bounced around the box, was touched on by Zech Medley before dropping to Jordan Graham who fired powerfully into the top corner. It was a good finish from Gills’ top scorer this season and ensured Gillingham climbed into the play-offs.
Shrewsbury: Burgoyne, Fossey, Ebanks-Landell, Pierre, Golbourne, Walker, Vela, Norburn, Barnett (Love 81), Clarke, Whalley (Daniels 40).
Unused subs: Gregory, Love, Tracey, High, Caton, Cummings.
Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Tucker, Medley, Ogilvie, Mellis (Drysdale 45), O’Connor (Coyle 75), Eccles, Graham, Samuel (Akinde 85), Oliver.
Unused subs: Walsh, Maghoma, McKenzie, MacDonald,
Referee: Mr James Adcock