Gills play out a 3-3 draw with Welling at Park View Road in pre-season friendly.
Gillingham’s first team kicked off pre-season with an entertaining 3-3 draw at Welling United on Saturday afternoon.
All six new summer signings featured for Steve Evans’ side at Park View Road on a damp afternoon in south-east London.
Gills raced in to a two-goal lead with less than 15 minutes on the clock thanks to goals from Danny Lloyd and Vadaine Oliver, but a quick-fire double from Dipo Akinyemi drew the National League South side level at the break.
A stop-start second half didn’t have the same excitement as the first half but after falling behind from the penalty spot, John Akinde levelled with pretty much the last kick of the game.
Gills fielded two separate teams for both halves as they continued with their preparations ahead of the Sky Bet League One season opener with Lincoln.
The first goal came in the eighth minute when a Kyle Dempsey cross from deep was headed into the box by Jack Tucker, new signing Danny Lloyd met the ball six yards out and guided the header into the bottom corner to open his account for Gills. 0-1.
The lead was doubled in the 14th minute through Vadaine Oliver. Big V raced on to a well-timed through ball from Olly Lee and produced an audacious lob over the keeper to start the 2021/2022 in the same mood he finished the previous campaign.
The game was certainly an entertaining one and chances at both ends went a begging. Stuart O’Keefe couldn’t connect properly after being teed up before Aaron Chapman had to get down quickly to deny a Welling striker.
Gills’ two goal lead was wiped out in the space of two minutes as the Wings struck a quickfire double.
Dipo Akinyemi first fired an unstoppable shot from 20 yards to half the deficit before showing good strength and speed to race clear of the Gills backline and fire low into the bottom corner.
Gills rung the changes at the break with only Chapman, Lintott and Woods appearing for the second half.
The younger Gills XI certainly held their own in the second half and forced the Welling keeper in to a couple of good saves.
However, it was Steve Lovell’s Welling who took the lead in the topsy turvy game when the referee adjudged a foul in the box.
Lyle Della-Verde, who was wearing the captain’s armband, stepped up and sent Chapman the wrong way to put the hosts ahead. 3-2.
Just as the game looked to be getting away from the Gills, a late John Akinde goal meant it finished all square and sent the 200 Gills fans home happy!
Ben Reeves picked out a delightful ball to Akinde who showed great composure to beat the keeper and level the game up from the edge of the box.
Gillingham team first 45: Chapman, Lintott, Ehmer, Tucker, Akehurst, O’Keefe, Dempsey, Lee, Woods, Lloyd, Oliver.
Gillingham team second 45: Chapman, Jackson, Lintott (Gbode 80) , Carter, Tutonda, Smith, Gale, MacDonald, Reeves, Woods (Chambers 80), Akinde.