Gills advance to the final eight of the Kent Senior Cup after a thrilling 7-3 win over Dartford at PriestfieldGillingham advanced to the last eight of the Kent Senior Cup following a thrilling 7-3 win over Dartford at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Charlie Webster (2), Josh Pritchard, Amine Linganzi, Antonio German, Jack Sellens and Aidan Blanchard all got on the score sheet for the hosts in what turned out to be a comfortable victory.
Mark Patterson named a strong starting XI with first team regulars Linganzi, Pritchard, German and Glenn Morris all included.
Blanchard lined up in midfield alongside Webster with Josh Staunton standing beside Mitchell Dickenson in the heart of defence as Captain.
Gillingham didn’t take long to stamp their authority on the game, registering the opening goal inside four minutes.
Linganzi threaded a nice through ball towards Michael Freiter whose clever touch found Webster in space, he latched onto the ball and with Deren Ibrahim trying to narrow the angle the midfielder delicately touched the ball past him and into the corner.
However Dartford responded well and Regan Payne levelled the scores with a spectacular effort from 25 yards.
The ball sat up just in front of the forward and with Morris slightly off his line he tried his luck and brilliantly placed the shot up and over Glenn who could do nothing to prevent the equaliser.
The hosts controlled the game more following the re-start and with a quarter of an hour gone Gills won a free kick just outside the penalty area on the left hand side.
Blanchard touched the ball to his right and Pritchard unleashed a fantastic effort from 25 yards which flew into the top corner giving Ibrahim absolutely no chance.
On 27 minutes the crowd nearly saw another top class effort – this time it was Ebrima Adams who played a neat 1-2 with Luke Daley before placing a long range effort just over the bar with Morris back tracking at full stretch.
Adams had another go on 37 minutes from a similar distance but on this occasion Morris was able to see it go a couple of yards wide of his right hand post.
With just a minute to go until the break Gills extended their lead further. German did brilliantly on the left wing to hold the ball up, sprint around his marker and drive into the box.
He cut back inside, spotted the run of Linganzi and the midfielder drilled the ball beyond the keeper from close range with the half time whistle sounding shortly after.
German added to the scoreline on 53 minutes when he latched onto a low pass from the right hand side and smashed the ball home from a little over six yards to all but clinch the tie for Gillingham.
Tom Bender headed wide for Dartford from a Becka Dembele free kick before Gills grabbed a fifth.
Webster found space on the right hand side and was played through courtesy of a neat pass, he looked up and with his foot shot across the keeper who could only watch it nestle in the opposite corner.
A few minutes later and Dartford pulled one back, a cross from the left found its way to Becka Dembele at the far post who did well to convert from close range.
Any ambitions of an amazing comeback were shattered within minutes though when a strong run from Michael Freiter on the right hand side resulted in a simple short pass to Blanchard inside the area who rifled the ball past Ibrahim for a sixth goal.
Dembele grabbed his second on 70 minutes when a cross from the left worked its way again to the far post – Gills failed to clear and Becka took a light touch before bending an effort into the top left hand corner.
This was a mere consolation though with the Gills putting the icing on the cake with a well worked seventh goal on 79 minutes.
Riccardo Thompson found German with a good long pass, the striker held the ball up and spotted the run of Sellens behind him, he back heeled and the sub striker found the bottom corner with a well-placed shot.
Gills: G Morris, Romeo, Staunton, Dickenson, Bent (Emptage 82), Webster, Blanchard, Linganzi (Sellens 61), Pritchard (Thompson 69), Freiter, German.
Unused subs: Haigh, Adams
Dartford: Ibrahim, Bender, Daley, Payne (Nwogu 63), Collier, Tarbuck, Driver, Anidugbe, Adams, Vint, Dembele.
Unused subs: Woodard, Elliott, Philips, Jones.
Referee: Mr C Hatzidakis