Gills secure a vital point at the home of the league leaders.
Olly Lee came off the bench to score a vital equalizer for Gillingham in their 1-1 draw against Hull on Saturday.
The goal came from a Tom O’Connor corner, which was headed down across the six-yard box by Jack Tucker. Lee came charging in to smash the ball into the roof of the net and put Gills back on level terms at the KCOM Stadium.
Tom Eaves had given Hull the lead as he jumped highest at the back post following Malik Wilks’ cross, and headed it past Jack Bonham.
Dominic Samuel made his first appearance since December and was almost the hero. A Ryan Jackson long throw was flicked on by Vadaine Oliver into the path of Samuel. He managed to get a touch towards the goal, but it hit the inside of the post and bounced into the clutches of Matt Ingram seconds before the full-time whistle blew.
Steve Evans was forced into one change following the draw against Doncaster. Robbie Cundy was not fit enough to be involved, and Tom O'Connor replaced him in defence. Samuel made the matchday squad for the first time since his injury in December.
Former Gills fan favourites Tom Eaves and Alfie Jones started for Hull.
John Akinde came close to giving Gills the lead in the opening seconds. A long ball forward found its way to Akinde, who tried his luck with a speculative effort, but it went wide of Matt Ingram’s left post.
Eaves had a good chance in the fourth minute. Lewie Coyle got down the line and dragged it back to the striker. He got himself set before shooting just wide of the goal.
Gills hit the post moments later through Vadaine Oliver. A Jordan Graham corner caused havoc around Hull’s six-yard box, and the ball went out to Kyle Dempsey. The Gills skipper tried his luck, and his goal-bound effort deflected off Oliver and hit the inside of the post.
Eaves gave the hosts the lead in the ninth minute. Malik Wilks’ ball towards the back post found the head of the former Gills striker, and he fended off a challenge from Jack Tucker before nodding home from close range.
Eaves was at the heart of the action again as he hit the post. George Honeyman drove into the penalty area before drilling a low ball towards the six-yard box. Eaves came across and got a flick towards goal, but, fortunately, it hit the outside of the post.
HALF-TIME: Hull City 1-0 Gillingham
Honeyman almost put Hull two goals up as he got into the penalty area early in the second half. His effort towards goal seemed to be bouncing into the bottom corner, or into the path of Eaves, until Connor Ogilvie came in with a brilliant clearance.
Jacob Greaves somehow failed to score in the 58th minute. A corner was flicked towards the back post, and Greaves looked set to double Hull’s lead. However, he somehow hit the crossbar from a yard out, and Gills were able to clear their lines.
Olly Lee was introduced in the 61st minute as he replaced John Akinde.
And it was the sub who got Gills back on level terms in the 67th minute. O’Connor curled a corner towards the six-yard box, and Jack Tucker headed it down. Lee was first to the knockdown and smashed it first time into the roof of the net from close range.
In the 77th minute, Bonham did well to deny Eaves. A cross towards the back post was met by the head of the striker, and the Gills goalkeeper did well to get himself behind the effort to save it.
Bonham’s brilliant goalkeeping denied Hull a massive chance moments later. The hosts hit Gills on the counter-attack, and Lewie Coyle put a testing ball across the box. Bonham reacted brilliantly to push it away, with Eaves waiting to pounce.
O’Connor was on hand to deny Hull a stoppage-time winner. Keane Lewis-Potter went on a brilliant run and dragged it across goal. O’Connor was the first to meet it and cleared it away as he slid back towards goal.
Dominic Samuel was brought on in the 84th minute and almost won the game with the final kick. Jackson’s long throw was flicked on by Oliver into the path of Samuel. He managed to get a touch on it towards goal, but it bounced off the inside of the post and into the path of Ingram.
FULL-TIME: Hull City 1-1 Gillingham
Hull City: Ingram, Coyle, Elder, A. Jones (Mcloughlin 90’), Slater, Greaves, Docherty, Honeyman, Wilks, Lewis-Potter, Eaves (Scott 79’)
Unused Substitutes: Long, Emmanuel, Crowley, C. Jones, Salam
Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Tucker, Ogilvie, O’Connor, Graham (Samuel 84’), O’Keefe, Dempsey, MacDonald (McKenzie 82’), Akinde (Lee 61’), Oliver
Unused Substitutes: Bastien, Willock, Johnson, Woods
Referee: Martin Coy