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Match Reports

Report: Gillingham 2-2 Wycombe

Read the report from the draw at Gillingham.

15 December 2018

Wycombe surrendered a two-goal lead at Gillingham as they came away with a point in a 2-2 draw at the Medway Priestfield Stadium.

It had looked like it would end up a whole lot better for the Chairboys at the break, as goals from Adam El-Abd and Nathan Tyson had them comfortably ahead.

But a change of shape and change of fortune in the second half for the hosts brought goals from Tom Eaves and Josh Parker to give the Gills a share of the spoils.

Gareth Ainsworth made just one change to his starting XI, with Bryn Morris coming in for Randell Williams as Wycombe changed up to a diamond formation for this one.

In freezing conditions, Wanderers came out the traps well as Alex Samuel held it up on the edge before helping it on to the overlapping Fred Onyedinma in the area. Fred’s low cross was intercepted out to Samuel whose shot deflected just over with 7 minutes gone.

Three minutes later and Wycombe saw another sight of goal as Joe Jacobson’s cross was headed back into danger by Dominic Gape, the ball fell to Morris who had his effort blocked behind.

From the resulting corner, the Chairboys had the lead. The initial set-piece wasn’t cleared, after a few aerial challenges in the box, the ball dropped to El-Abd who cracked it into the corner on the volley.

On 17 minutes it was to get a whole lot better for the visitors. Jason McCarthy whipped in a great cross which landed to the feet of Tyson who finished with a classy strike into the bottom corner to claim his first of the season.

Great work down the right again saw Onyedinma get a sight of goal on 23 minutes, the forward cut in and saw his shot loop just over the bar after taking a nick on the way through.

Gillingham saw their first sight of goal three minutes after that chance. Parker turned his marker after being fed inside the box and let fly towards the far corner, causing Stephen Henderson to make a strong two-handed stop to his right.

Gills broke on Wycombe just before the hour mark as El-Abd was caught in possession midway inside his half. Elliott List's shot was blocked but he had a better option to his left with Parker waiting.

The home side continued to improve, and Wanderers did well to see out a couple of corners, before Josh Parrett shot wide of the near post with 32’ on the clock.

With pace in abundance, the chances were starting to open up for Wanderers on the counter-attack as McCarthy saw a teasing low ball blocked on a four-on-four situation.

Two minutes before the break, List almost caught Henderson out as it looked for a moment as his miscued cross was destined for the far corner, but it was inches over the bar and on top of the goal frame.

One last chance before the break as Darren Oldaker tried his luck from distance from a dead-ball. The ball swerved all over the place before it got to Henderson who tipped it wide.

Half-time: Gillingham 0-2 Wycombe

Gills made a change at the break with Bradley Garmston replacing Oldaker as the hosts changed to three at the back.

Wycombe had a chance to stretch their advantage as Onyedinma latched on to weak back pass from Gabriel Zakuani. The Millwall loanee was forced slightly wide but got his shot off which was saved by the legs of Tomas Holy on 47 minutes.

The home side found a route back into the game via talisman Tom Eaves on 57 minutes. Wanderers switched off as a free-kick on halfway was pumped into the box; Eaves was alert, met it with a good touch and beat Henderson from close range to half the deficit.

Wycombe looked to restore their two-goal advantage as Morris let fly from 25-yards. Holy palmed it back out but Samuel couldn’t keep his shot down on the rebound.

After being booked early after coming on after the restart, Garmston was perhaps lucky to stay on the field after clattering into McCarthy in an aerial challenge just inside the Gills’ half - just a free-kick said referee Dean Whitestone.

With 18 minutes remaining, Wycombe almost had a fortunate third as Gape’s fizzing cross cannoned off the back of Onyedinma and went just wide of the near post.

Gillingham began to pile on the pressure. A deep cross into the box eventually landed for List, but Sido Jombati threw himself at the shot and diverted it behind.

14 minutes to go and Gillingham levelled the scores as the Chairboys criminally left Parker with a free header from a corner. The forward gladly took up the gift five-yards out and headed into the top corner with both sides now searching for a late winner.

Williams replaced Tyson as Wanderers looked to add fresh legs against a tiring backline. A half-chance arrived for El-Abd as a corner was partially cleared, but he could drag his shot wide on the stretch from the edge of the penalty area.

Five minutes to go and Gillingham made their second change as List was replaced by Brandon Hanlan who had scored against Wycombe for Colchester United last term.

The home side had a glorious to complete the turnaround on 88 minutes as Jombati lost out to Hanlan on the left, he found Parker in space in the area who dragged his shot wide.

Williams looked for a spectacular winner as he curled a shot towards the top corner just as three additional minutes were raised by the fourth official; Holy did very well to get across to save.

2-2 was how it would remain then as Wanderers had to settle for a point when it looked for so long that they would be going home comfortably with all three.

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