Shares are spoiled following lively encounter at the Pirelli.
Vadaine Oliver’s first-half goal was cancelled out by Kane Hemmings’ early second-half strike as the points were shared at the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Oliver gave Gillingham the lead after 18 minutes as his effort from the edge of the area darted into the bottom corner, leaving Ben Garratt with little chance.
Kane Hemmings got the hosts back on level terms seconds after the break. A long throw into the area was flicked into the path of the striker, who thumped it into the back of the net.
Gills had chances to win the game in the second half through Mustapha Carayol, Oliver and Stuart O’Keefe, but the ball seemed to always be a couple of inches off the target.
Steve Evans made multiple changes to the side that beat Colchester in midweek. Jamie Cumming, Dan Adshead, Kyle Dempsey, Mustapha Carayol and Vadaine Oliver all returned to the starting XI.
John Akinde returned to the matchday squad for the first time since the defeat to Plymouth.
Mustapha Carayol had the first chance of the game in the 14th minute. He went on a run towards the Burton penalty area and managed to get beyond their defence. He got into the six-yard box before trying to slot it past Ben Garratt. However, the angle was a tight one, and Garratt managed to save the effort with his leg.
Charlie Kelman had an opportunity moments later, but his effort from a tight angle flashed wide of the far post.
In the 18th minute, Vadaine Oliver gave Gills the lead emphatically. Kelman did well to find Oliver near the edge of the box, and the Gillingham number 19 had to bring the ball under control. He went back towards the edge of the area to create space before blasting his shot across Garratt into the bottom corner.
Kelman tried his luck with a speculative effort in the 23rd minute. Oliver did well to head it into the path of the teenager who brought the ball down before striking on the half-volley. The shot was around 40 yards out as he tried to catch Garratt out, but the Burton keeper read what he was trying to do and gathered.
Kane Hemmings had Burton’s first chance in the 27th minute and was denied by a brilliant save from Jamie Cumming. The hosts hit Gills on the counter, and the ball was played through to the Brewers striker by Harry Chapman. He tried sending the Chelsea loanee the wrong way, but Cumming did well to save with his legs.
Dempsey came inches away from making it two. Carayol went on another good run before laying it off to the Gills skipper. He set himself before aiming his effort towards the top corner, and it looked set to find it but went just over the bar.
In the 43rd minute, Kelman almost scored. He received the ball on the edge of the box before going onto his right foot and shooting across the goal. He tried to find the bottom corner, but it went just wide of the post.
HALF-TIME: Burton 0–1 Gillingham
Burton equalised seconds into the second half. A long throw into the box from Tom Hamer was flicked into the path of Hemmings, who managed to stick the ball into the back of the net.
Carayol almost put Gillingham back in front just after the hour. He did brilliantly getting past Hamer before running into the box. He cut onto his right foot and tried his luck. Garratt got a touch onto it, and despite that, it looked like it was finding the bottom corner. However, the ball trickled past the other side of the post and went out for a corner kick.
Oliver came inches away from regaining the Gills lead. Jamie Cumming’s goal-kick was flicked on by second-half substitute John Akinde, and the ball went behind the Burton defence. Oliver was first to latch onto the loose ball as he headed past the oncoming Garratt, but it went the wrong side of the post.
The hosts almost took the lead with just five minutes remaining. They caught Gills on the counter-attack, but the final effort was denied by Cumming and went out for a corner. From the resulting corner, Max Ehmer had to head off the line to prevent Burton from scoring.
Daniel Jebbison came on in the second half and had a massive opportunity to win the game. He latched onto a loose ball and was in one-on-one. He aimed his shot towards the far post, but Cumming did brilliantly getting down to it and stopping the effort.
Stuart O’Keefe was brought on in the 89th minute and almost won the game. A corner was headed as far as the Gills midfielder, and his left-footed volley whistled just over the bar.
FULL-TIME: Burton Albion 1-1 Gillingham
Burton Albion: Garratt, Borthwick-Jackson, Bostwick, Hemmings (Jebbison 71’), Akins, Smith (Powell 90’), Shaughnessy, Blake-Tracy (Morris 81’), Hamer, Chapman, Lakin
Unused Substitutes: Balcombe, Patrick, Amadi-Holloway, Gilligan
Gillingham: Cumming, McKenzie, Ehmer, Tucker, Tutonda, Adshead (O’Keefe 89’), Dempsey, MacDonald, Carayol, Kelman (Akinde 66’), Oliver (Lloyd 90’)
Unused Substitutes: Chapman, Bennett, Reeves, Lee
Referee: Carl Boyeson