West Ham 2 Gillingham 1
By Richard Jolly
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Bobby Zamora had given West Ham a third-minute lead, but Danny Spiller then equalised for Gillingham, who are now only one place above the relegation zone.
Zamora netted from 10 yards after Marlon Harewood headed down a Michael Carrick cross, but Gillingham were almost level within minutes when Patrick Agyemang curled a shot just past the post.
Andy Melville and Zamora both missed the target when they had chances to extend West Ham's lead and after the striker missed the target from Etherington's cross, Gillingham levelled.
Chris Hope headed down Richard Rose's free kick and Spiller volleyed home from 12 yards.
West Ham responded with efforts from David Connolly and Zamora while Nigel Reo-Coker shot tamely wide.
After the interval, Gills keeper Steve Banks denied Etherington and Zamora (twice) before Alan Pardew made a double change.
And it paid dividends as Adam Nowland set up the winner with a through ball for Etherington to beat Banks.
Gary Wales had Gillingham's best chance of a second equaliser with a 25-yard shot which Stephen Bywater held.