The Gills bow out of county competition in round two
Crayford-based VCD Athletic scored a 95th-minute winner to knock the Gills out of the Kent Senior Cup at the Oakwood Sports ground on Tuesday night.
Despite dominating the opening 45, the Gills had to twice come from behind in the game through Rory Donnelly and centre-back Ryan Huckle, before substitute Kris Newby scored with virtually the last kick of the match to earn his side a 3-2 victory.
Overseen by the club's Professional Development Academy Manager Mark Patterson, the Gills line-up featured a mix of first teamers such as Emmanuel Osadebe, Darren Oldaker and Donnelly, alongside members of the under-18s, who last week progressed into the FA Youth Cup fourth round
Playing on the left wing, Gills midfielder Elliott List saw his effort rebound off the underside of the bar on 14 minutes, before VCD goalkeeper Connor Pearce rushed off his line to deny him when through on goal less than 180 seconds later.
Donnelly's effort as he sprinted to meet midfielder Bradley Stevenson's corner at the front post on 21 minutes was cleared off the line, before List had further efforts from the edge of the box saved by Pearce.
Substitute Kojo Awotwi had the hosts' best chance of the opening half, but goalkeeper Tom Hadler kept out a low shot from 20 yards following his surging run through the midfield.
The Vickers went in front on 56 minutes, as Jamie Guy took advantage of a loose ball in midfield and fired past Hadler from distance. They led for less than quarter of an hour, as Donnelly leapt well to head home fellow striker Greg Cundle's deep, lofted cross at the back post on 69 minutes.
List thought he scored a similar goal on 73 minutes, and despite the ball appearing to cross the line following his acute-angle header, no goal was given by the officials.
With extra-time looking likely, the two teams remarkably scored three times combined after the 90-minute mark. First, VCD looked to have won the game when Mekhi McLeod fired home, before Huckle scored his first goal in three years seconds later, slotting home from close range after Stevenson's shot was parried by Pearce.
But there was still time for a winner, as Newby's free-kick beat Hadler to give the hosts the victory. They will be away to either Herne Bay or Dover Athletic in the quarter-finals.
: Pearce, Hogan, Joseph, O’Neill, Bruce [C], Tchonang, McLeod, Garcia (Newby 74), Guy, Hahn (Duncan 90), Thompson (Awotwi 41)VCD Athletic
Unused subs: Freund [GK], Duncan, Clark
: Hadler, O’Mara, Huckle, Dickenson [C], Simpson, Stevenson, Osadebe, Oldaker, List (Mbo 77), Donnelly, CundleGillingham
Unused subs: Newcombe [GK], Divine, Onwugbonu, Chapman
Referee: Michael Marsh