Gills slipped to defeat against Tottenham Hotspur in Round three of the EFL Cup, with the Premier League outfit fielding a number of international stars in their XI
Justin Edinburgh made one change from the team that started at Vale Park with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas replacing Scott Wagstaff on the wide right of an attacking three behind Cody McDonald.
Christian Eriksen opened the scoring for Spurs in the first half with a rasping drive, before a second goal from Eriksen sparked a goal rush. Vincent Janssen scored from the penalty spot, before Josh Onomah and Eric Lamela added to the scoresheet, despite a valiant effort from the Gills.
Tottenham had the first meaningful attempt on goal in the second minute when Eriksen drove forward and hit a powerful shot from 25 yards, which Jonathan Bond did fantastically well to tip behind the post.
From the corner, Cameron Carter-Vickers should have scored for the home side, but the centre-back placed his free header wide of the right post.
Tottenham threatened soon after as Ben Davies found himself with plenty of space in behind the Gills defence on the left. The Welsh left-back cut the ball back to Eriksen in the box but he could only scuff his shot wide.
Gillingham had their first territorial gain in the fifth minute when Paul Konchesky did fantastically well to win a corner, bringing a massive roar from the 2,994 away faithful, but Spurs managed to clear their lines.
Soon after, Gillingham had a long throw opportunity from Ryan Jackson which Emmanuel-Thomas got on the end of but the big forward could only head wide.
Bond was called into action again with ten minutes gone as Lamela was played in down the right but the Gills stopper did well to keep the ball out at his near post and hold onto the ball. Spurs were playing some brilliant football but Gillingham defended valiantly to keep them at bay.
The Gills were forced into a change in the 13th minute with Bond in evident discomfort after a solid start to the game, and Stuart Nelson came on between the sticks.
Janssen had another great chance for Spurs soon after as Kieran Trippier whipped in an inviting cross but the contact was too fine and Gillingham survived. Spurs went very close again after 22 minutes but Eriksen dragged his shot wide of the goal when played in on the left of goal.
Tottenham kept on coming forward despite the Gills’ best attempts to halt their fluid passing and Lamela struck wide of the goal after neat interplay on the edge of the Gillingham box.
Nelson made his first save since coming on as a substitute, getting down low to block a fierce pile-driver from Onomah, and keep the scores level.
Tottenham were ahead with half an hour gone and it was Eriksen with a fabulous shot from 25-yards. The midfielder picked the ball up and hit a swerving drive that went both way before beating Nelson.
Janssen was proving difficult to deal with up top due to his immense power and Nelson had to be at his best to deny him at the near post after 35 minutes.
Tottenham nearly extended their lead with 38 minutes on the clock. Janssen took the ball around Max Ehmer, past Nelson and shot but Deji Oshilaja got back superbly to hack away off the line.
Spurs were immediately back on the charge and Janssen again was the danger-man, spinning inside the box and shooting, but again missed the target as his shot across goal beat Nelson.
Gillingham battled superbly as the half drew to a close, and were within touching distance at the half-time whistle, despite a late attempt from Emmanuel-Thomas which cleared the bar comfortably.
H/T: 1 – 0
Tottenham did not take long to double their lead as Eriksen scored his second goal of the game. Lamela travelled superbly with the ball through the Gillingham midfield, before sliding the Dane in who was able to place the ball past Nelson.
Spurs were awarded a penalty soon after with Eriksen and Trippier combining to do the damage. The Trippier cut back on Oshilaja who brought the right-back down and Janssen finally got a deserved goal from the penalty spot after 51 minutes. Gillingham were struggling to cope a rampant Spurs with their front four combining superbly as Lamela shot wide.
The visitors were looking lively with the introduction of Wagstaff, and soon won a free-kick 25 yards from goal. Unfortunately, Bradley Dack’s effort just clipped the top of the Spurs wall and deflected away from danger. Tottenham broke and Lamela cracked a shot over the angle of post and bar.
Onomah extended the scoring for Tottenham after 65 minutes following a slide rule pass from Lamela, which found him free in the top right corner of the box. The youngster controlled the ball and, on the stretch, curled the ball past a helpless Nelson.
Two minutes later and Spurs had a fifth with Lamela getting on the scoresheet, collecting a return pass from the impressive Janssen before finishing with a fine left foot shot that, again, gave Nelson no chance in the Gillingham goal.
Substitute Harry Winks was next to go close to the home side, who showed no sign of letting up, firing over from 25 yards.
Gillingham, however, rallied in the final period of the game to exert a spell of pressure on the home defence. Firstly, a long throw from Jackson hemmed Spurs in with the ball failing to fall to a Gillingham attacker. McDonald then won the Gills a free-kick; Dack tapped the ball to the Gills number 10, whose low drive clipped the ball when it looked likely to call Michel Vorm into action.
Oshilaja was next to threaten for Gillingham driving forward thirty yards however, leaning back, the centre back cleared the bar failing to test the Spurs ‘keeper.
Gillingham were looking more likely to score as the home side took their foot off the gas. Mark Byrne shot from 25 yards but wide of the goal as the Gills continued to attack.
As the game moved into added time, rising prospect Winks brought Nelson into action again. The left-footed midfielder jinked his way into a shooting position from 25 yards but Nelson did very well to tip the ball behind. Tom Carroll then shot over from a tight angle and the game finished with defeat for the Gills.
F/T: 5 – 0
The Gills return to League One action at the weekend, as Coventry travel to the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.
Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm; Trippier, Wimmer, Carter-Vickers, Davies (Walkes, 79); Carroll, Winks, Lamela, Eriksen (N’Koudou, 58), Onomah; Janssen (Edwards, 65)
Unused Subs: Whiteman (GK), Vertonghen, Wanyama, Son
Gillingham: Bond (Nelson, 15); Jackson, Ehmer, Oshilaja, Konchesky; Wright, Byrne; Osadebe, Emmanuel-Thomas (Wagstaff, 59), Dack (Knott, 79); McDonald
Unused subs: Pask, Oldaker, Donnelly, List
Referee: David Coote