Charles Noyelle (2) and Roman Campbell find the target as Gills defeat Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow.
Gillingham are through to the second round of the FA Youth Cup after scoring two late goals against AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow on Tuesday night.
The tie looked to be going to extra-time with Paul Osew’s early effort cancelled out by Charles Noyelle, however Noyelle struck again from a free-kick on 89 minutes before Campbell netted a third in stoppage time to give Gills their place in the next round.
Ben White named Joe Walsh in goal for the tie with Miquel Scarlett at right-back and George Sheminant partnering Emmanuel Fernandez in the centre of defence.
Antigua and Barbuda international TJ Bramble lined up in midfield with Roman Campbell playing up front, supported by Ben Allen and Noyelle.
Gills nearly found themselves in front within the first sixty seconds. A high ball into the box from Arthurs was caught by the keeper but AFC Wimbledon soon lost possession and a cross found Campbell in space who headed just over from 10 yards.
A few minutes later and left-back Jack Morrell sensed an opportunity to drive forward and create something from defence. He took on his man, a 50/50 ball fell nicely into his path and he thundered a left footed effort from a tight angle into the side netting.
With Gills in control they suddenly found themselves a goal behind; Tyler Burey used his pace to skip past his man, he went to the byline and delivered a low cross which Sheminant did his best to defend. Walsh made the stop to prevent an own goal but Osew was there to power home from close range.
Sheminant nearly equalised following a corner soon after but his header back across the box nestled on top of the net. Gillingham were enjoying good possession but not able to carve out clear cut chances on a consistent basis, many opportunities coming from set play with Sheminant in particular looking most likely to score.
Both teams had half chances in a half which turned into a midfield battle; Noyelle having an effort saved late on by Albert White with Finlay Macnab having earlier seen a shot well blocked by Sheminant.
The second half started in the same way the first had finished; the match continuing to be a tight affair with few chances created. Burey forced a fine save from Joe Walsh just before the hour mark when his low drive from inside the box was blocked by Walsh’s right leg, before firing wide of the target a few moments later, deciding to shoot from range with the ball sitting up nicely for him in space.
These two missed chances proved costly as Gills finally got back on level terms on 68 minutes. A free-kick from Morrell was guided towards Fernandez at the back post, he did enough to head the ball back into the danger area and Noyelle finished brilliantly from 10 yards with an accurate right footed shot which beat Albert White.
The match remained tense for the remaining 25 minutes; neither side able to create anything clear cut. That was until the last minute of normal time when sub Hards was fouled right on the edge of the box. There were protests that it should have been a penalty, however the referee wasn’t convinced and Wimbledon went about setting up their wall.
Noyelle struck it low and hard straight into the bottom left hand corner; a strike worthy of winning any cup tie as the travelling Gillingham fans celebrated with the visiting players. And moments later their place in the next round was booked for sure as Campbell struck home a left footed effort into the bottom right hand corner, staying onside according to the linesman, beating his man and firing an effort beyond White who, even though he got his left hand to it, the contact made wasn’t enough.
AFC Wimbledon (starting XI): White, Biler, Currie, Collins, Proctor, Rudoni, Macnab, Assal, Burey, Lodge-Francis, Osew.
Subs: Kerbey, Osu, Weekes, Mills, Robinson.
Gills: Walsh, Scarlett (Witt 79), Sheminant, Fernandez, Morrell, Lamb, Bramble, Arthurs, Noyelle, Allen (Hards 82), Campbell.
Unused subs: Laing, Blanks, Bancroft.
Referee: Mr S Rea