Report | Herne Bay 1-4 Gillingham

A Bradley Stevenson brace helps Gills to victory at Winch's Field.

Gillingham cruised into the semi-finals of the Kent Senior Cup following a comfortable 4-1 win over Herne Bay at Winch’s Field on Tuesday evening.

A Bradley Stevenson brace, along with a goal apiece for Henry Woods and Callum Reilly, were more than enough to help the Gills progress to the last four.

Gillingham named a strong team for the game with Callum Reilly and Ben Chapman playing in midfield with Aaron Simpson, Bradley Stevenson and Noel Mbo also included.

Herne Bay had former Gills youngsters Danny Leonard and Michael Freiter in their squad.

Gillingham bossed the early proceedings with an early effort from Chapman striking Mbo before running wide of the right post, before Tom Carlton went close for the hosts, only to see his effort from inside the box miss the target.

That missed chance would prove costly as Gills took the lead on 15 minutes. Reilly played in Simpson wide on the left who managed to keep the ball in play, beat his marker to the byline and pull it back for Reilly who had snuck between the two centre-backs and rifled home from 10 yards.

And just a few minutes later it was 2-0. Mbo played in Reilly a touch wide on the left; Callum saw an opportunity to cross and his delivery was met by Woods who clinically beat the keeper from a little over six yards.

However, the two goal advantage was short lived. A cross from the right by Bradley Schaffer was played into the danger area and, although Miles Cornwell claimed it, the final touch appeared to come off a Gills player.

The visitors carried on playing in the same way with Reilly instrumental in everything Gills were creating; however it was Mbo who nearly got the third goal when his low effort across the face of Harry Earls was gathered by the Bay keeper.

After a quiet spell late in the half Gills finally found their way through for a third time when an initial shot was blocked, the ball fell for Stevenson who put sufficient power behind his shot to find the back of the net.

Mbo was denied an almost certain fourth goal moments later with Earls making a great save with his left leg to keep his team in the game.

H/T: 1-3

Stevenson had a great chance to put the result beyond all doubt on 52 minutes but his powerful shot was well saved by Earls.

The midfielder would get another chance seven minutes later, and this time he took it when Woods played in the forward who, although a touch wide to take a shot, Earls came out to narrow the gap and Stevenson produced a delightful chip to get the ball up and over the goalkeeper before finding the back of the net.

With the game virtually over as a contest Gills were professional in their approach in regards to game management. Herne Bay very rarely threatened Catherall in goal, but at the other end Earls had to be alert once more to deny Woods low to his right.

Miquel Scarlett and TJ Bramble were introduced late on with Gills seeing the game out to book a semi-final spot, with Simon Kabamba sent off shortly before the final whistle.

F/T: 1-4

Bay: Earls, Kabamba, Brown, Wilkins, White, Carlton (Clifford-Awoyemi 70), Schaffer (Mulanry Skinner 46), Ayokomi Bankole, Embery, Cornwell, Leonard.

Unused subs: Miller, Freiter

Gills: Catherall, Divine (Scarlett 81), Huckle, Tucker, Simpson, Stevenson, Reilly (Bramble 81), Chapman, Woods, Mbo, Smith (Hlabi 65)

Unused subs: Walsh, Fernandez

Referee: Mr K Dempster

Attendance: 406