Gills secure hard-earned point in Sheffield.
Vadaine Oliver’s first-half goal was enough to help Gills clinch a hard-earned point at Hillsborough on Saturday afternoon.
Oliver had given Gillingham the lead midway through the first-half after a fantastic flick-on by John Akinde. It put Oliver through on goal, and he slotted it into the bottom corner past Joe Wildsmith, with debutant Bailey Akehurst having supplied the delivery to the forwards.
Gills battled hard in the second-half, but their resistance was broken just 15 minutes from time as Kamberi equalised. Jamie Cumming initially saved Barry Bannan’s strong effort, but the rebound fell perfectly for Kamberi to strike into an empty net.
Steve Evans made four changes to the side that drew to Cheltenham in the FA Cup. Daniel Phillips returned to the starting line-up for the first time since his injury, while Akehurst made his first league start.
Stuart O’Keefe also returned to the starting XI after missing the Cheltenham game through a hamstring knock, and John Akinde also came back in.
Callum Paterson came close to giving Sheffield Wednesday the lead in the tenth minute. Fisayo Dele-Bashiru drilled it into the box, and Paterson did well to get a smart flick towards the goal. However, it hit the post with Jamie Cumming rooted to his spot.
Moments later, Gills almost had a great opportunity to go in front. Danny Lloyd did well to attack the left-hand side before dinking a cross towards the back post. Joe Wildsmith could not claim the cross, and Vadaine Oliver slid in to cut it back across the goal, but no one was in the six-yard box to knock it into an empty net.
In the 22nd minute, Oliver gave Gillingham the lead. Akehurst’s long free-kick found the feet of Akinde, who flicked the ball in for Oliver, who was one-on-one. He remained composed before slotting into the bottom corner beyond Wildsmith from inside the penalty area.
There was a moment of panic for Cumming in the 31st minute. A cross into the box was headed towards the goal by Barry Bannan, and it hit Max Ehmer in the chest. It changed the direction of the ball, thus causing Cumming to scramble, but it went wide of the post.
Theo Corbeanu forced Cumming into a save moments later. He drove into the box before creating an inch of space for a shot. It was from a tight angle and had a lot of power, but it was an easy save for the Chelsea loanee, who parried it away.
A huge block from Jack Tucker denied Corbeanu in the 40th minute. The Sheffield Wednesday wing-back did well to weave his way into the box before trying to curl a shot towards the far corner. It looked like a dangerous effort, but Tucker came in with a vital block as Gills managed to clear the second ball.
HALF-TIME: Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Gillingham
Corbeanu tried his luck from 25 yards after cutting in on his left foot, but his shot was straight at Cumming.
Paterson missed a guilt-edged opportunity in the 64th minute. The hosts had the Gills defence outnumbered, and the ball was cut back towards the penalty spot. Paterson was there in acres of space and had to score, but smashed it wide of the post.
In the 71st minute, Bailey Akehurst was replaced by Dan Adshead, forcing a change of roles in the Gills line-up. Ryan Jackson moved to left-back, while O’Keefe went into the right-back spot.
Florian Kamberi equalised in the 75th minute for the hosts. The ball was played out to Bannan, who drilled a shot towards the goal. It forced Cumming into a big save as he parried it away, but it was into the path of Kamberi, who slotted into an empty net.
A huge goal-line clearance by Tucker kept the scores level a matter of seconds later. A cross into the box evaded everyone and was bouncing into the bottom corner until Tucker came in to clear his lines.
Corbeanu almost scored a fantastic goal for the hosts in the final moments of normal time. The ball hung perfectly for him to strike it on the volley, and he did. His effort floated in the air as it went towards the goal and had Gills hearts in their mouths. Fortunately, it went wide of the post.
FULL-TIME: Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Gillingham
Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, Palmer, Dunkley, Johnson, Corbeanu, Dele-Bashiru (Adeniran 90’), Wing (Berahino 61’), Shodipo (Sow 83’), Bannan, Paterson, Kamberi
Unused Substitutes: Render, Brown, Luongo, Brennan
Gillingham: Cumming, Jackson, Ehmer, Tucker, Akehurst (Adshead 71’), O’Keefe, Phillips, Lloyd, Dempsey (Reeves 74’), Oliver (Sithole 57’), Akinde
Unused Substitutes: Chapman, Lintott
Referee: John Busby