Reuser turns Town around
Gillingham slipped into the First Division relegation zone as play-off chasing Ipswich came from behind to claim the points and move up to fourth.
Substitute Martijn Reuser played a pivotal role in Ipswich's turnaround, cancelling out John Hills' first-half opener with a 25-yard free-kick, before then setting up Darren Bent to score his 15th goal of the season.
The Gills dropped into the bottom three following Derby's convincing victory at home to Preston, while Ipswich took advantage of Wigan's draw at Crystal Palace to jump one place in the table.
Gillingham named an unchanged line-up following Monday's 3-0 win at home to Walsall, while Ipswich made one enforced change, 19-year-old goalkeeper Lewis Price handed his debut in place of Kelvin Davis.
The Wales Under-21 stopper's first task was to pick the ball out of the net.
Gills striker Patrick Agyemang, who scored twice against the Saddlers, burst into the area and was brought down by a clumsy challenge from Matt Elliott.
Hessenthaler's team have not had much success from the penalty spot in recent weeks, with Nicky Southall missing twice against Crystal Palace and Alan Pouton firing wide against Cardiff earlier this month.
But Hills kept his cool to slam the ball past Price.
The home side were well on top, with Leon Johnson heading straight at Price from a Southall free-kick, and Chris Hope forcing another save from youngster Price with a firm header.
Ipswich, fresh from back-to-back victories against Rotherham and Sunderland, offered little in the opening 45 minutes.
Their first noteworthy chance came five minutes before the break, with Jermaine Wright's stunning 35-yard drive sailing inches over the crossbar.
Ipswich's top scorer Bent brought a fine save from Steve Banks with a low shot from just inside the area in injury-time, but Gillingham held on to lead at the interval.
However, Tommy Miller was replaced by Reuser in the 54th minute, and he changed the game for Ipswich.
The Dutchman hauled the visitors level on the hour.
Ian Cox brought down Bent 25 yards from goal, and Reuser stepped up to curl the ball into the top corner with Banks stranded.
Matt Richards fired wide before Reuser turned provider for Bent to turn the match firmly in Ipswich's favour.
The winger's cross from the left picked out striker Bent who was unmarked at the far post, and he calmly slotted the ball home.
Hills spurned a golden chance to equalise with 20 minutes remaining as he headed straight at Price from six yards, but Ipswich never looked like losing.
Banks tipped a Richards piledriver round the post, before Bent hit the woodwork in the closing stages.