Gills come from behind to take a point from promotion chasing Wycombe at ME7.
Jack Tucker’s stunning volley ensured Gills earned a well-deserved point in a 1-1 draw against Wycombe Wanderers at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.
His goal came from Ben Reeves’ free-kick, which was initially cleared. It fell as far as the defender, who smashed it across the goal into the bottom corner.
Sam Vokes had given Wycombe the lead as his close-range effort from six yards was smashed past Aaron Chapman at the near post giving the Gills keeper little chance.
Neil Harris made one change to the starting XI from the late defeat to Sunderland as Stuart O’Keefe returned to the team in place of Josh Chambers. Robbie McKenzie was named amongst the substitutes after picking up a knock in the game at Charlton.
Aaron Chapman did well to deny Gareth McCleary in the 15th minute. The winger continued to cut inside on his left foot before shooting from 20 yards in a central position. His shot took a deflection that initially wrongfooted the Gills keeper, but Chapman did well to get across and push it away.
In the 20th minute, Sam Vokes gave Wycombe the lead. Brandon Hanlan, who came on as sub in the opening stages, played the through ball to Vokes. The forward smashed his shot towards the near post giving Chapman little chance of keeping it out.
Daryl Horgan forced Chapman into a save after picking up a loose ball. He was allowed to travel towards the edge of the penalty area before shooting. However, it was straight at the Gills goalkeeper, who claimed it at the second attempt.
In the 33rd minute, Gills had a golden chance to equalise. David Stockdale tried to come out and claim Ryan Jackson’s long throw but failed to deal with it. The ball fell to O’Keefe, who had his effort blocked. The rebound fell to Vadaine Oliver, who was squeezed out before the ball went out for a goal-kick.
Oliver had a good chance a few minutes later but failed to find the target. Charlie Kelman did well to get down the left wing before passing it back to Robbie McKenzie. His cross found Oliver, but he could not direct his header goalward.
HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-1 Wycombe Wanderers
Neil Harris made a change at the interval with Ben Reeves coming on to replace Conor Masterson as the managemen decided to change shape, and it made an impact.
In the 65th minute, Gills had a big penalty shout. Kelman did well to win possession 25 yards from the goal and played Ben Thompson through on goal. Thompson took his time before dinking it over the oncoming Stockdale. As it was going goalward, it hit a Wycombe defender. Gillingham players and supporters appealed for a handball, but the referee ignored the appeals.
Jack Tucker forced Stockdale into a save in the 71st minute. Jackson’s long throw was headed on by Max Ehmer. It sat nicely for Tucker to direct goalward, but Stockdale made the save.
Five minutes later, Tucker scored in sensational fashion. Ben Reeves’ free-kick was headed as far as the centre back, who managed to peel off from the Wycombe defenders. It sat perfectly for him to strike on the volley, and he did exactly that. He smashed it across the goal into the bottom corner to send the MEMS Priestfield Stadium into raptures.
Gills reacted well to the goal and came close twice within a matter of seconds. Reeves was the first man to have a chance as his right-footed effort took a crucial block to take it over the bar. The second came from the resulting corner as Kelman did well to create a chance from nothing, but it was a comfortable save for Stockdale.
In the 86th minute, Lewis Wing was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Olly Lee.
The referee immediately blew his whistle and believed the foul to be worthy of a red card.
Gills were inches away from winning it towards the end of normal time. Thompson’s effort from 20 yards took a deflection off of Tom Dickson-Peters, and it caused Stockdale to spill the effort. Oliver was the first to meet it as he dinked it over the Wycombe goalkeeper, but the visitors managed to clear it off the line. There were calls from the Gills players and supporters for it crossing the line, but the referee waved those claims away.
FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-1 Wycombe Wanderers
Gillingham: Chapman, Jackson, Tucker, Ehmer, Masterson (Reeves 46’), Tutonda (McKenzie 10’), O’Keefe (Dickson-Peters 89’), Lee, Thompson, Oliver, Kelman
Unused Substitutes: Dahlberg, Maghoma, Akehurst, Chambers
Wycombe Wanderers: Stockdale, Jacobson, Tafazolli, Vokes (Akinfenwa 83’), Wing, McCleary, Horgan (Wheeler 66’), Mehmeti (Hanlan 11’), McCarthy, Scowem, Forino
Unused Substitutes: Dickinson, Grimmer, Young, Obita
Referee: Simon Mather
Attendance: 4858 (555 away supporters)