Report: Gillingham 1 Sheffield United 2
Billy Sharp's last minute penalty gave the Blades the three points that they arguably deserved, but it took Kieron Freeman to get the ball rolling for United after Bradley Dack had put Gillingham in front.
It took a while for the first half to get going and Gillingham had the first half chance to take the lead when Cody McDonald was denied by Blades goalkeeper Simon Moore.
As time went on United began to get a grip on the game and midway through the half they should have been awarded a penalty when Freeman was bundled over in the box by Gills centre back Deji Oshilaja.
Lifted by that injustice, the Blades were enjoying a period of dominance, though had few opportunities to score; the closest coming when Mark Duffy was unlucky with his shot from distance.
However, the failure to turn that possession into goal cost Chris Wilder's side as Gillingham took the lead on 34 minutes. Debut-boy Danny Laffery gave away a free kick on the edge of the box and Dack curled the ball over the wall and into the top corner.
United began the second half brightly, too, with Sharp forcing a save from the Gills keeper Bond on 53 minutes and shortly after the Blades skipper sent his diving header wide of goal.
The pressure finally broke the home side when Lafferty's cross was headed down to Sharp, who ball across goal found Freeman sliding in for the equaliser.
Leon Clarke came off the bench for Matt Done and had an opportunity to score on 76 minutes, but shot wide from close range.
United pressed for a winner but it looked as though they would have to settle for a point until the 89th minute when Gills defender Josh Pask inexplicably handled in the box.
Up stepped Sharp who fired the ball past Bond's outstretched arm to claim what could in the long run prove to be a vital win for United.
Sheffield United: Moore; Freeman, Wilson, O'Connell, Wright, Lafferty; Coutts, Basham; Duffy; Sharp, Done
Gillingham: Bond, Jackson, Ehmer, Oshilaja, McDonald, Knott, Konchesky, Dack, Byrne, Wright, Emmanuel-Thomas
FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS TO FOLLOW