Gillingham 1 Wigan Athletic 1
Skipper Sam Morsy rescued a point for Wigan at lowly Gillingham.
Latics were below par for much of the evening, starting well but fading before striker Tom Eaves opened the scoring for the hosts.
It was up to the Wigan captain to spare his side’s blushes with a brilliant effort that sent the travelling 152 travelling fans into raptures.
Latics did look to set the pace early doors with Max Power winning a corner within the first minute after his shot was palmed wide. The home side had only touched the ball to block or tackle when Michael Jacobs saw his effort denied too.
But Gillingham soon woke up with Sean Clare’s sweetly-struck half-volley sailing just wide.
The remainder of the half was a very balanced affair. While Latics enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, the hosts weren’t scared to test them on the counter attack.
Far too often this season Wigan have seen sides sit back and defend for their lives but credit where credit is due, the hosts weren’t up for doing that.
Paul Cook’s men did play some neat football, utilising the wings well with Jacobs, Gavin Massey and Nathan Byrne offering plenty going forward.
It was the latter who produced Wigan’s best chance of the opening half when he went on a superb run into the box before seeing his effort well saved by Tomas Holy in the Gillingham goal. From the resulting corner, Burn nodded over what was a free header.
It was Eaves who was the constant thorn for Gillingham, though, and he would have surely opened the scoring but for a superb last-ditch Chey Dunkley tackle.
Billy Bingham also asked questions on the counter as the hosts ended the first half strong.
After the break, Gillingham started well and soon got themselves on top. With less than 10 minutes gone they struck with Clare putting in a brilliant ball for Eaves, who was returning from a four-game suspension, to head home the opener.
Latics looked shell-shocked and, to their credit, Gillingham poured forward hoping to kill the game off.
Josh Parker came close before Elliott List struck the post with a deflected effort with Wigan’s defence all at sea.
In fairness to Latics though, they calmed themselves down, rebuilt and got themselves back into the game.
Will Grigg replaced the below-par Ivan Toney and almost made an immediate impact when his close-range header was saved.
Gary Roberts also came off the bench to come close with a header that was well saved.
Powell, who had struggled to get himself into the game, pulled out a couple of his trademark dashes into the box, winning a free-kick in a great position with one. However, the effort lacked his usual precision as it sailed over.
Latics began to mount the pressure again and this time Gillingham’s defence couldn’t hold out.
Morsy took control and struck a brilliant effort from distance that Holy in the Gillingham goal was powerless to stop.
Wigan had their tails up and pushed forward for a winner that they couldn’t find. A killer blow game when Grigg hobbled off with a hamstring injury, of which the severity was unknown after the game.
All in all it was a solid point for Latics against a battling and resilient Gills outfit.