John Egan's unlucky own goal sends Premier League side through despite brave performance from the GillsThere was no high-profile upset at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday night as an unfortunate own-goal from defender John Egan helped Newcastle to a 1-0 victory over the Gills in the Capital One Cup.
Egan could do nothing when Gabriel Obertan's lofted delivery into the box after 25 minutes hit him, and the ball diverted past a luckless Stephen Bywater in the Gills goal.
But there were plenty of positives on show for the hosts, particularly the substitute appearances of Antonio German and Luke Norris, who impressed when they came on in the second half.
Peter Taylor made four changes to the side from Saturday's defeat at Barnsley. Cody McDonald, Callum Davies and Matt Fish were all recalled, while Josh Pritchard was handed his Gills debut.
And it was McDonald who was in the thick of the action early on, as he fought with Argentinean international Fabricio Coloccini in the box. The striker cut inside the defender, but Coloccini managed to make a last-ditch tackle to deny him a goal-scoring opportunity.
The Toon were largely restricted to half-chances in the first half of the opening period. Mehdi Abeid dragged a shot wide from Obertan's lay-off, and summer signing from Monaco Emmanuel Rivière found the on-loan Bywater with a shot on the turn.
But just as it looked like the increasing hold they had on the game was diminishing, Obertan's trickery on the right wing led to the game's only goal.
However, the final third of the first half saw the Gills cause more problems for the visitors; most notably when Matt Fish curled a 20-yard effort narrowly over Tim Krul's bar.
Newcastle started the better in the second period, as Rivière shot over and Massadio Haidara rattled the crossbar with a powerful strike.
However, the introduction of German and Norris on 65 minutes galvinised the Gills. The former looked to take on the Toon backline whenever he got the ball, and the latter gave Coloccini and Steven Taylor a different threat to that posed by McDonald and Danny Kedwell.
Norris almost scored a brilliant equaliser six minutes after coming on. After a darting run through the Newcastle defence, his long-range effort forced Krul into a brilliant save. From Jake Hessenthaler's resulting corner, Egan narrowly headed over.
German also came close in the dying minutes, following Kortney Hause's cross, but the visitors saw out stoppage time to prevent the Gills from progressing into round three for the first time since 2005.
Gills: Bywater, Legge, Egan, Davies, Fish, Hessenthaler, Dack, Pritchard (A Morris 46), Hause, Kedwell (Norris 65), McDonald (German 65).
Unused subs: G Morris (GK), Hoyte, Dickenson, McGlashan.
Newcastle United: Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini, Taylor, Haidara, Sissoko, Abeid, Obertan, de Jong (Perez 68), Aarons (Cabella 60), Rivière (Gouffran 86)
Unused subs: Elliot (GK), Dummett, Anita, Ferreyra.
Referee: Oliver Langford