Gills advance to the second round of the Capital One Cup following a 2-1 win over Yeovil at Huish Park
A cracking second half strike from Aaron Morris booked a second round Capital One Cup tie for Gills following a 2-1 victory over ten man Yeovil Town at Huish Park on Tuesday evening.
Brennan Dickenson had put the visitors in front midway through the first half after pouncing on a defensive mix up, but Simon Gillett pulled the scores level following a thunderbolt strike shortly after the interval.
With Yeovil pushing forward, Gills produced the perfect response with Morris firing in a great effort across the face of keeper Artur Krysiak to restore the lead just shy of the hour.
Gary Johnson’s side were then reduced to 10 players when the referee gave a straight red card to Nana Twumasi following a high tackle on Luke Norris.
Yeovil did their best to find a way through for a second time but were unable to draw level.
Peter Taylor was forced to juggle his pack with no fewer than four players out of action – most notably Cody McDonald and Stuart Nelson who were both injured in the 4-2 defeat to MK Dons on Saturday.
As a result five alterations were made to his XI – Morris starting in goal with Norris, Bradley Dack and Dickenson coming in for McDonald, Danny Kedwell and Jake Hessenthaler.
Josh Hare was given the nod to make his competitive debut with Jermaine McGlashan missing out altogether. Josh Pritchard took a place on the subs bench alongside Devante McKain and Callum Davies.
Tom Hadler, a first year pro, was also on the bench for the first time.
The first chance of the game fell to Gills with Dickenson holding the ball up well and spotting the run of Joe Martin, playing in more of a wing back position with Hare on the opposite flank.
He had space to run into and chose to shoot 25 yards from goal, he struck it well but it was a yard or so wide from Krysiak’s left hand post.
Yeovil had more possession in the opening ten minutes but the visiting defence stood firm with Martin and Hare retreating off the ball.
Yeovil had a half chance on 13 minutes when James Berrett whipped in a corner from the right hand side – any touch may have given Morris a save to make but luckily it came off a Gills body and Doug Loft hacked it away before a follow up delivery was dealt with by Kortney Hause.
Shortly after and Twumasi, after evading the challenge of Dack, had a shot from just outside the box well saved by Morris who was down quickly to gather.
On 23 minutes the deadlock was finally broken when Krysiak and Aaron Martin were involved in a defensive mix up. The ball bobbled free as the keeper came to collect and Dickenson did well to come away with it and find the empty net.
It was the winger’s first competitive goal since arriving from Brighton and he deserved a lot of credit as he took advantage of the error.
However on the half hour mark it was nearly a level game again – Gillett’s corner found its way to Martin, he headed it back across Morris and Legge was well placed to hack it off the line with the effort almost certainly going in.
A couple of minutes later and Morris produced a truly outstanding save to deny Kieffer Moore.
The forward was in space on the right hand side of the box and drilled a right foot effort into the opposite corner, but somehow the Gills stopper diverted it wide.
Joseph Edwards had a low effort blocked by Legge before a Loft strike was awkwardly kept out by Krysiak with the centre half hitting the side netting with his follow up shot.
Yeovil came firing out of the blocks in the second half and had a number of shots blocked inside the box – but a free kick on 56 minutes eventually brought the hosts level.
Gillett was standing over it and via a short pass rocketed the effort into the net from 25 yards. Morris did well to get a hand to it, but the power and the accuracy was too much for the Gills keeper.
Their early second half pressure had paid off, but their joy would be short lived as Aaron Morris restored the lead just shy of the hour mark.
Norris and Dack had seen an almost certain goal cleared off the line by Aaron Martin moments before, but Morris found the ball at his feet in space just outside the penalty area on the right hand side and he drilled an effort across Krysiak and into the far corner.
It was the perfect response from Peter Taylor’s men, and they were about to go a man up aswell with Twumasi receiving a straight red card for a foul on Norris.
Gills players were quick to vent their anger at the challenge, and the referee took his time in assessing the situation before brandishing a straight red card.
Yeovil continued to press though and Morris produced another top draw save to deny Edwards from close range, before the keeper was at it again to keep out a snap shot by Nathan Smith.
Yeovil, despite their numerical disadvantage, continued to push forward in search of the equalizer, but despite several half chances they couldn’t find a way through and Gills held out for their first win of the campaign.
Yeovil: Krysiak, Smith, Edwards, Martin, Solkolik, Berrett (Leitch-Smith 52), Hayter (Ralph 67), Moore (Hoskins 77), Twumasi, Nugent, Gillett.
Unused subs: Weale, Moloney, Foley, Lanzoni
Gillingham: Morris, Egan, Hause, Legge, Martin, Hare, Loft, Morris, Dack, Dickenson (German 46), Norris (Kedwell 77)
Unused subs: Hadler, Davies, McKain, Pritchard, Hessenthaler