Gillingham book their place in the semi-finals of the Kent Senior Cup after a 2-0 win over TonbridgeTwo second half goals booked Gillingham a place in the semi-finals of the Kent Senior Cup following a 2-0 win over Tonbridge Angels at Priestfield on Monday night.
Michael Freiter guided home a drilled cross from Charlie Webster on 65 minutes before the midfielder scored himself six minutes from time to seal the tie.
Tonbridge had their chances; the best falling to Flavio Tavares who saw his effort well saved by Glenn Morris before striker Luke Norris acrobatically cleared an effort off the line with the scores at 1-0.
Mark Patterson named a strong team for the fixture with both Leon Legge and Joe Martin playing in defence, with Norris partnering Antonio German in attack.
Tonbridge named Jack Parter at left back, the youngster having been released by Gillingham at the end of last season.
The game was a very even affair for the opening quarter of an hour with neither team particularly dominating proceedings; however the hosts did enjoy more of the ball.
Parkinson skewed an effort wide of the target following a free kick by Whitnell, and German very nearly forced an opening with his low shot striking the side netting with Kyle Merson well positioned to make a save.
Chances became few and far between, however Morris had to look lively to deny Royce Greenidge having been played through by Flavio Tavares.
On 27 minutes Gills won a free kick 30 yards from goal, Blanchard whipped it in and found the head of Leon Legge but the centre back fired it wide of the left hand post.
With five minutes to go until the interval Webster fired a cross into the penalty area which met the outstretched leg of German, he controlled it well but instead of play a short pass to Romeo he fired a shot on the turn which cleared the bar.
And shortly after he had the best opportunity of the half, the Tonbridge defence failed to clear their lines and German was on hand to win possession before firing a powerful left footed strike into the side netting.
Tonbridge came close seconds before the interval – Mahlon Romeo attempted to head a long ball clear, he found Tommy Whitnell in a yard of space and he elected to shoot, Morris was slightly off his line but the effort was a couple of yards over.
The first chance of the half fell to Freiter, McKain did well to keep the ball in and the midfielder burst into the box before firing a right footed effort wide of the near post.
Norris then had two opportunities in quick succession to break the deadlock, on the first occasion he was put through by Freiter with Merson making a good save before Webster’s cross was headed narrowly wide.
Gillingham finally got their goal on 65 minutes to open the scoring. Norris tried to scamper away inside the box, the ball broke free for Webster who produced a fine cross for Freiter who delicately guided the ball inside the far post, giving the outstretched keeper no chance.
Tonbridge perhaps should have equalised shortly after the re-start. A cross from the left hand side found Tavares with plenty of space at the far post, his first touch was heavy but he still made room for a shot which Morris did well to save before the resulting corner was cleared.
On 73 minutes a free kick by Whitnell was placed just past the penalty spot, it found the head of Frank Ngassa but Morris saw the effort go wide of his right hand post.
Seven minutes later and Staunton was caught in possession which allowed Whitnell to sprint clear on the left wing, he waited for the support of Tavares who skewed a shot wide before Norris did brilliantly to clear a header off the line in acrobatic fashion.
It proved to be decisive with Gills clinching the tie six minutes from time. A cross from Freiter on the right hand side was driven between the goalkeeper and the back four, the delivery looked to have taken a slight deflection on the way but Webster sprinted in at the far post to get the crucial touch.
The hosts saw out the rest of the game to book their place in the final four, with the draw to be made next week.
Gills: G Morris, Romeo, Legge, Staunton, Martin, Blanchard, Webster, McKain, Freiter, Norris, German (Cundle 69).
Unused subs: Hadler, Bent, Dickenson, Leonard.
Tonbridge: Merson, Slocombe (Johnson 69), Parter, Rivelino (Oxojie 56), Ngassa, Ball, Tavares, Parkinson, Quintyne (Nyarsongo 56), Whitnell, Greenidge.
Unused subs: McCarthy.
Referee: Mr L Venamore