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Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 1-0 Wigan Athletic

Vadaine Oliver scores his 17th goal of the season as Gills overcome Wigan at Priestfield.

31 March 2021

Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 1-0 Wigan Athletic

Vadaine Oliver scores his 17th goal of the season as Gills overcome Wigan at Priestfield.

31 March 2021

Gills enter the play-offs in Sky Bet League 1 after beating Wigan at ME7.

Vadaine Oliver was the match-winner as Gillingham beat Wigan Athletic 1-0 at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Wednesday to enter the play-offs in Sky Bet League 1. 

The goal came from a brilliant Ryan Jackson cross which found the head of Oliver. He cushioned the ball into the bottom corner with an excellent header giving Jamie Jones no chance.

Wigan had some big opportunities, but Jamie Proctor and Callum Lang were unable to find the back of the net.

Steve Evans named an unchanged starting XI following the 1-1 draw away at Hull. Robbie Cundy was not fit enough to make the squad, and Dominic Samuel was on the bench for the second successive game.

Gillingham had a penalty shout in the seventh minute. John Akinde won a flick-on on the edge of the area allowing Vadaine Oliver to get behind the Wigan defence. He won the header as the goalkeeper collided with him, but the referee ignored the penalty shouts.

Jack Tucker tested Jamie Jones moments later. Jordan Graham curled his free-kick towards the far post, and Tucker out jumped his man. Unfortunately, it was straight at Jones who caught the ball with relative ease.

Callum Lang had Wigan’s first shot on target in the 14th minute. The ball was played into Lang, and his shot was deflected. It looked like wrong-footing Jack Bonham, but the Gills keeper regained his balance and jumped on top of the loose ball.

Curtis Tilt came close in the 26th minute. The visitors picked up a loose ball ten yards outside the Gills penalty area and swung a cross towards the penalty spot. Tilt ran onto the cross unmarked, and his snapshot flashed just over the bar.

Oliver had a header go wide moments later. Tom O’Connor did brilliantly getting down the line and swung a cross towards the back post. Oliver met it, but could not get his effort on target.

Thelo Aasgaard’s diving header in the 32nd minute forced Bonham into a comfortable save. Lee Evans’ free-kick was a central one, and Aasgaard got away from his marker and met it with a diving header. However, his header was a soft one, and Bonham comfortably saved it.

Oliver was denied by some brave keeping from Jones moments later. George Johnston’s back pass was under-hit, and Oliver did well to latch onto the loose ball. He tried prodding it under the Wigan keeper, but Jones did well to close the angle and saved the effort with his thigh.

Lang wasted a big chance for Wigan in the 39th minute. He picked up the ball 25 yards from the goal and drove towards the edge of the penalty area. However, his effort was a poor one as he dragged it well wide of the post.

Alex MacDonald was the next to test the Wigan goal from 20 yards out. Akinde did brilliantly to chest it down to MacDonald, who struck it first time. His effort aimed for the bottom corner did not have enough power and Jones gathered.


HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Wigan Athletic


Stuart O’Keefe had a goal-bound volley blocked at the start of the second half. Ryan Jackson’s long throw was headed out as far as O'Keefe, and his volley towards goal was blocked by the stomach of a Wigan defender.

Tendayi Darikwa forced Bonham into a big save in the 58th minute. Jamie Proctor switched the play to the right-back, who dribbled into the penalty area. He found himself in plenty of space and tried his luck. It forced a good save by Bonham, who palmed it away, and Proctor put the rebound over the bar.

Lang was next to come close as he dragged his effort wide of Bonham’s far post after he did well to create some space for himself 20 yards out.

Proctor was next to test Bonham as Lang continued to be at the heart of the action. He got down the byline and lofted a cross towards the six-yard box. Proctor rose highest, but his header was right into the hands of the Gills keeper.

In the 67th minute, Proctor missed a guilt-edged chance. Lang did fantastically well working his way into the penalty area before laying it off to his strike partner. Proctor looked destined to score but somehow put his effort over the bar from close range.

Oliver gave Gillingham the lead in the 76th minute. Jackson received the ball on the right-hand side and put in a cross first time. It was a brilliant one as it found the head of Oliver who rose highest to nod it into the bottom corner, giving Jones no chance.

Wigan came so close to equalising in the 81st minute. A corner towards the six-yard box found the head of Lang, who hit the bar. The ball bounced out, and before a Wigan player could get the final touch, Dominic Samuel was on hand to clear his lines.

Gills had a massive penalty shout in the 83rd minute. Oliver did brilliantly to flick the ball over his head and got into the penalty area. As he looked to shoot, he appeared to be dragged down. Despite that, the referee ignored the shouts.

Oliver was denied by Jones three minutes later. O’Connor’s free-kick from the halfway line was an accurate one, and it found Oliver. His header looked like it was heading for the bottom corner until the Wigan goalkeeper made a finger-tip save to push it wide.


FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-0 Wigan Athletic


Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Tucker, Ogilvie, O’Connor, O’Keefe, Dempsey, Graham (McKenzie 90’), MacDonald, Akinde (Samuel 68’), Oliver (Lee 90’)

Unused Substitutes: Bastien, Willock, Johnson, Woods


Wigan Athletic: Jones, Darikwa, Johnston, Tilt, Robinson, Ojo, Evans, Lang, Aasgaard (Keane 79’), Solomon-Otabor (Gardner 81’), Proctor (Dodoo 77’)

Unused Substitutes: O.Evans, Clough, Whelan, Long


Referee: Christopher Sarginson

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