MK Dons mist out on the chance to climb the League One table on a foggy night in Kent as Russell Martin’s men managed to concede three goals despite their opponents only having 23% of the ball.
The Gills opted against the strategy that many teams have chosen to employ against MK Dons recently, to their detriment early on. The away side had a long period of sustained possession, facing little pressure, as their patience paid off: Will Grigg was set free by Scott Fraser and lashed home from outside the home penalty area.
Following this, Steve Evans’ side did step up their pressing efforts but the men in white were still comfortably playing through this, always finding the spare man. In the 17th minute, Fraser almost added another goal contribution, firing just wide of Jack Bonham’s post from the edge of the box.
The Gills had offered almost no threat but were awarded a penalty in the 27th minute as Warren O’Hora leant into the ball, leading with his arm. Graham made no mistake from the spot, sending Andrew Fisher the wrong way. They were back in the game, despite only have 17% of the ball.
MK Dons then gifted their opponents the lead. Presenting their hosts with an equaliser was not quite enough for the MK Dons defence as Harry Darling missed a simple long ball after a tussle with Dane Oliver as the latter coolly slotted past Fisher to give his side an undeserved lead in the 44th minute.
The scope of the half-time team talk changed once more as O’Hora atoned for his earlier handball to prod his side back on terms in the sixth minute of first-half stoppage time. A clever interchange between Grigg and Matt O’Riley following a corner culminated in the former crossing for O’Hora to score a timely first MK Dons goal.
Half-time: Gillingham 2-2 MK Dons
As the fog descended over Priestfield, the visitors should have retaken their original lead in the 55th minute. Fisher played a long ball after not being closed down, which Jerome flicked on to play Andrew Surman in on goal but he fired over on the half-volley when he ought to have scored in successive games.
The Lee family almost inflicted more misery on the followers of Milton Keynes as Olly Lee almost scored an absolute screamer from range, only to be denied by Fisher as his brother scored against The Dons at the weekend.
Again, The Gills scored from absolutely nowhere, frustratingly immediately following a triple substitution from Martin as a long throw from Ryan Jackson was not dealt with by the side with a woeful recent defensive record. Consequently, the ball broke to Connor Ogilvie and the centre-back slammed home to give his side the advantage again.
The response from the away side was an extremely disappointing one as the game fizzled away from The Dons in another massively tough result to take.
Full-time: Gillingham 3-2 MK Dons
Man of the match: Will Grigg