Welling impress at Park View Road but Gills put in professional performance to advance to third round of the cup.
Gillingham advanced to the third round of the Kent Senior Cup following a 2-1 win over Welling United at Park View Road on Tuesday evening.
Elliott List and Noel Mbo scored within a few minutes of each other in the first-half and this gave the hosts a tough task, however in the second period they valiantly fought back, pulled one back through Nassim L’Ghoul and very nearly forced penalties.
However, the Gills defence stood firm and secured victory.
Jason Lillis and Ian Cox took charge of the side and fielded a competitive XI with Darren Oldaker, List and Navid Nasseri all starting.
Leroy Hlabi and Henry Woods were among the substitutes.
In the Welling side there was a familiar face in Dean McDonald who featured 30 times for the Gills and scored six times during the 2006-07 campaign.
The visitors had a couple of early corner-kicks with the second of which headed goalward by Jack Tucker, only to see his effort blocked before Nasseri’s low strike was comfortably gathered by Dan Wilks.
On 11 minutes the threat of List’s pace on the left side finally paid dividends when he knocked the ball past his man, he had at least a few yards to make up but did so convincingly and crossed for Stevenson whose effort at the back post was well saved.
Within a couple of minutes Welling could easily have taken the lead when McDonald produced an excellent cross for Arnaud Mendy. He was in space and had time to pick his spot; on the volley he placed his effort beyond Hadler, but also beyond the left post.
And that missed chance proved costly as within 60 seconds the hosts were a goal down. Mbo found List 20 yards from goal who did well to turn his man, use his pace to create space for a shot and from 12 yards he found the back of the net as Wilks came out to narrow the gap.
Having gone a goal up, Gills wasted no time in bagging their second. Simpson this time turning provider for Mbo who proved too powerful for his marker, shaking off the challenge before drilling an effort beyond Wilks.
Nassim L’Ghoul was giving a few members of the Gills team some headaches on the left wing; after first seeing a free-kick go inches wide of the left post he tried again moments later, this time in open play, forcing a comfortable save from Hadler.
Following a Nasseri effort which was gathered by Wilks, Gills nearly bagged a third after the half hour mark when List was put in again, this time on the right side. He used his pace to drive into the box, he was forced wide by a retreating defender and as a result, off balance, his effort went narrowly wide of Wilks’ right post.
Just prior to the interval Arnaud Mendy had a header well blocked inside the penalty area before Stevenson missed the target at the other end with a right-footed effort from 15 yards.
Both sides had chances within the first 90 seconds of the second half; Stevenson had a low shot gathered before Julian Anau won possession just outside the box at the other end and thundered an effort just over the bar.
Moments later and the same player had an equally good opportunity, this time from 20 yards. He tried to find the bottom left corner but missed the target by inches as Hadler did his best to cover the danger.
The visitors had a great chance to grab a third on 56 minutes when a ball over the top found Nasseri in space; Simpson did everything he could to offer support from the left but, not being seen, the midfielder went it alone and saw a low effort saved by Wilks.
With 20 minutes to go Welling had their best chance yet to pull a goal back. Subs Tigana Quebe and David Ijaha combined with the former providing a cross from the byline on the left side; Ijaha got beyond his man and he looked destined to find the net but Hadler stuck out his right glove and pulled off a great stop.
However, his clean sheet was to be deprived with less than ten minutes to play. L’Ghoul, who was Welling’s best player all night, received the ball outside the box on the right side. The angle created was ideal for his left foot and he drilled an effort towards the far post which found the bottom corner with Hadler at full stretch.
The winger was at it again moments later, but this time his high effort towards the top left corner was gathered by Hadler.
Welling threw everything in the closing stages to try and force penalties, but the Gills stood firm to secure their place in the next round.
Welling: Wilks, Hurst, Barrett, Mendy (Ijaha 4), Ambroisine, Mendes, Kissock (McCullum 57), Anau, Pinney (Quebe 67), McDonald, L'Ghoul
Unused subs: Mills, Goldberg
Gills: Hadler, Chapman, O'Mara, Tucker, Trialist, Oldaker, Stevenson, Nasseri, Simpson, List (Woods 59), Mbo.
Unused subs: Catherall, Scarlett, Sheminant, Hlabi.
Referee: Mr J Stokes