Defeat for Gills at the DW.
Will Keane scored once in each half as Wigan secured a 3-2 win over Gills at the DW on Saturday.
Wigan led 2-0 at half-time thanks to goals by Keane and Stephen Humphrys.
However, Gills came battling back in the second half as Ben Reeves scored eight minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute. Gills got back on level terms in the 70th minute after Stuart O’Keefe’s drilled left footed shot found the bottom corner.
However, Will Keane found the winner with a little over ten minutes from time, as he smashed in from just a couple of yards following a header into the six-yard box.
Steve Lovell made two changes to the side that lost to Burton as Danny Lloyd and Mustapha Carayol replaced Ben Reeves and Charlie Kelman.
Gwion Edwards had the first opportunity of the game in the eighth minute. His effort from the edge of the box was palmed away by Pontus Dahlberg and went out for a throw.
And it was from the resulting throw that Wigan took the lead. It was taken quickly, and Edwards crossed in from the right, and Will Keane rose highest to head into the bottom corner.
Minutes later, Tom Naylor came close to doubling their lead. A corner curled towards the near post was met by the oncoming Naylor, but his header hit the top of the crossbar.
Stephen Humphrys scored Wigan’s second in the 21st minute. He played a quick one-two with Edwards before driving into the box and drilling a shot across the goal and into the back of the net.
In the 27th minute, Keane hit the post. A cross into the box was headed down to the striker, who drilled a low effort. His shot took a deflection and hit the foot of the post before going out for a corner.
Max Ehmer did brilliantly to bravely deny Keane in the 35th minute. Gills lost possession inside their penalty area, and the ball was played to Keane with Dahlberg off his line. The Wigan forward had plenty of time to shoot and tried to fire his effort into the roof of the net. However, Ehmer bravely jumped in front of the shot to head off the line.
HALF-TIME: Wigan Athletic 2-0 Gillingham
Ben Reeves and Charlie Kelman were both brought on at half-time, and Reeves got Gills back into the game in the 53rd minute. A long ball forward was headed down by Vadaine Oliver into the path of Reeves. The oncoming midfielder struck the ball first time from the edge of the area and found the bottom corner.
Max Power had a testing effort for Dahlberg in the 58th minute. It took an awkward bounce just in front of the Watford loanee, but he did well to react and kept the ball in his arms.
Just after the hour, Edwards tested the former Swedish international. Gills lost the ball on the halfway line, and Wigan broke in numbers. Ehmer managed to hold them up, but Edwards tried his luck from 20 yards. Dahlberg did well to palm it behind for a corner.
The Gills stopper did fantastically denying a Wigan goal from the resulting corner as James McClean’s cross was curled right around to the back post. Jack Whatmough was the one to meet it and look destined to score, but Dahlberg somehow got across to push it away from danger.
In the 70th minute, Gills got back on level terms. Ryan Jackson’s throw was a short one, and he then got it back before lofting a cross into the box. It fell to O’Keefe, who tried his luck. His effort, on his weaker foot, found the bottom corner giving Ben Amos no chance.
In the 77th minute, Wigan regained their lead. A corner towards the back post found an unmarked player, who headed it across the goal into the six-yard box. Keane was there from a couple of yards out to smash into the back of the net.
O’Keefe had a great chance to bring Gills back level in the 87th minute but could not find the target. Jackson’s cross into the box was knocked down by John Akinde, but the ball would not settle for O’Keefe, who shot over the bar.
FULL-TIME: Wigan Athletic 3-2 Gillingham
Wigan Athletic: Amos, Kelland Watts, Naylor, Whatmough, Edwards (Kerr 67’), Power, Keane, Shinnie, McClean, Darikwa, Humphrys (Massey 86’)
Unused Substitutes: Jones, Pearce, Bayliss, Aasgaard, Sze
Gillingham: Dahlberg, Jackson, Tucker, Ehmer, McKenzie, O’Keefe, Dempsey, Carayol (Kelman 46’), Lee, Lloyd (Reeves 46’), Oliver (Akinde 78’)
Unused Substitutes: Chapman, Tutonda, Bennett, Sithole
Attendance: 9359 (196 Gills fans)
Referee: Carl Boyeson