Strong second half display from Gills goes unrewarded as Carlisle advance in the cup.
Gillingham were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup on Tuesday evening as Carlisle sealed a 3-1 win at Brunton Park.
Hallam Hope scored a first half brace with sub Shaun Miller adding a third in second half stoppage time to book Carlisle a place in the third round at home to Sheffield Wednesday, with Scott Wagstaff having pulled one back shortly after the interval.
Steve Lovell named an unchanged line-up to the team that beat Bristol Rovers 4-1 on Saturday with Alex Lacey continuing at left-back.
Connor Ogilvie didn’t make the match squad after suffering with illness so Bradley Garmston provided the width on the left side from the bench if needed.
The first few minutes were very open with both sides finding gaps to exploit; however it was Gills who created the first half chances with Parker’s shot from 18 yards well blocked before the same player nearly released Eaves one-on-one, but Jack Bonham was off his line quickly to collect the loose ball.
Moments later and Carlisle took the lead against the run of play; Gillingham lost the ball in midfield and the hosts worked the ball from right to left on the edge of the 18-yard box. Richie Bennett found Hope in space and he drilled a low shot which came off Nugent and beyond Tomas Holy who had no chance from close range.
Gillingham however remained the better side without troubling Jack Bonham in the Carlisle goal; a number of set pieces from Lee Martin were well defended with Alex Lacey doing well at the other end to concede a corner when a cross from the right was delivered into a perfect area for the home attack.
On 35 minutes Gills best opportunity of the half fell to Lacey when another excellent Martin corner was right in the path of the advancing defender, but his header was brilliantly stopped by Bonham. The stop proved to be crucial as Hope bagged his second of the game within 40 seconds of the save being made.
Bennett found space on the left for a cross; Hope managed to get half a yard on his marker inside the box and beat Holy with a clinical finish.
Gillingham made a perfect start to the half by getting a goal back within two minutes of the restart. Martin cut inside from the right and played a ball in behind the defence for Parker. The forward was running away from the goal but from a tight angle spotted the run of Wagstaff; the ball was perfect and the midfielder provided an equally good finish from inside the box to reduce the deficit.
Gillingham had more of the possession for the next quarter of an hour and Lovell introduced Bradley Garmston on 65 minutes to try and stretch the Carlisle defence; however Jamie Devitt’s strike on 68 minutes kept Tomas Holy alert between the sticks.
Wagstaff nearly grabbed the equaliser with 15 minutes to play; Martin did well inside the box on the right hand side to turn his defender twice and deliver a short pass to his fellow midfielder, however his first time shot was straight at the keeper.
Carlisle nearly pounced against the run of play for a third time; Hope nearly grabbing his hat-trick but on the turn his shot towards the far post from just inside the area hit the woodwork and away to safety.
Eaves had a half chance with a header from a free-kick but with limited space available he could only glance an effort wide, and with just a minute left sub Shaun Miller fired home from inside the box as Carlisle caught Gills on the counter attack in the closing moments.
Carlisle: Bonham, Parkes, Hill, Lambe, Grainger (T Miller 90), Liddle, Jones, Hope, Devitt (O’Sullivan 90), Bennett, Brown (S Miller 62).
Unused subs: Nabi, Cosgrove, Ellis, Rigg.
Gills: Holy, O’Neill, Ehmer, Nugent, Lacey (Garmston 65), Martin, Byrne (Wilkinson 85), Clare (List 81), Wagstaff, Parker, Eaves.
Unused subs: Nelson, Zakuani, Hessenthaler, Cundle.
Referee: Mr M Heywood
Attendance: 2357 (88 Gills)