Gillingham out of Carabao Cup despite strong performance at ME7.
Gillingham went out of the Carabao Cup First Round on penalties after an extraordinary game against Newport County on Tuesday evening at Priestfield.
Brandon Hanlan and Mikael Ndjoli both scored from the spot, with the latter thinking he had won it for the Gills late on, but a Padraig Amond spot kick deep in to injury time ensured it ended all square after 90 minutes. Hanlan had missed a penalty earlier in the game which, had it been converted, could have made for a very different evening.
Gillingham made three changes from Saturday’s defeat to Burton, with the fit again Regan Charles-Cook joining Mark Byrne and Connor Ogilvie in the starting line-up.
And the Gills made a bright start at Priestfield, a cross from the right-hand side fell in to the path of Mikael Ndjoli, but off balance, he fired over from inside the area. A couple of early corners were dealt with by the County defence as Gills flew out of the blocks.
The next chance came in the 20th minute. A loose ball out from the back fell to Ndjoli, he skipped past the defender, laid it off to Hanlan but his shot was well blocked before the keeper could pounce.
Minutes later, and Gills were to come even closer. Charles-Cook jinked between a couple of challenges and finessed an effort towards goal, though his effort crashed back off the post and the rebound went wide.
Gillingham took the lead in the 25th minute from the penalty spot. Charles-Cook was shoved over running away from the goal and referee Trevor Kettle had no option but to point to the spot. Brandon Hanlan stepped up and tucked the ball under Nick Townsend. 1-0.
The lively front four for Gillingham were causing all sorts of problems for the County backline and Alex Jakubiak was the next man to go close; he was denied by a flying stop by Townsend.
It took 40 minutes for Jack Bonham to be tested and he had to be alert to deny Scot Bennett. A back-heel found the midfielder but Bonham was out quick to deny him. Brandon Hanlan came close again just before the interval but his header from Charles-Cook’s cross was tipped on to the post.
Newport started the second half brightly, and nearly drew level within minutes of the restart, but Padraig Amond’s audacious effort was clawed out by Bonham.
Gills went about responding though and after Mark Byrne had seen his deflected effort fire wide, Connor Ogilvie glanced the resulting corner wide of the far post. Newport were certainly carrying a greater threat in the second period but Gills were holding firm.
In the 55th minute Brandon Hanlan won another penalty. But after brushing himself off, he saw his penalty saved by Townsend. The keeper guessed right and Hanlan’s low penalty was ricocheted over the bar.
Newport continued to look a threat but after Mark Byrne had given away a free-kick about 25 yards out, Matty Dolan curled the free-kick over. Mark Marshall was soon introduced, in place of Alex Jakubiak.
In the 80th minute, Gilingham had a golden chance to win it. With Newport piling men forward, Brandon Hanlan was set through on goal but Townsend won his one-on-one battle before Hanlan fired the follow-up over the bar.
And Gillingham were to rue that miss when just three minutes later Newport pulled level. A free-kick from the right was put in to a good area and Tristan Abrahams flicked the ball beyond Bonham to level the scores.
What followed was five minutes of madness. Firstly, Gillingham were awarded a third penalty when Mark Byrne was brought down in the box. This time, Mikael Ndjoli stepped up and scored to put the Gills ahead.
But before Gills had time to think Trevor Kettle pointed to the spot, this time for Newport after Mikael Ndjoli was alleged to have taken down a Newport player. Padraig Amond stepped up and converted to send the tie to penalties. In the aftermath Ndjoli was sent off for a second booking.
Newport scored all four penalties while Alfie Jones and Mark Marshall saw theirs saved as Newport progressed to the Second Round where they will meet West Ham.
F/T: 2-2 (1-4 on Penalties)
Josh Sheehan - Scored
Alfie Jones - Missed
Padraig Amond - scored
Mikael Mandron - Scored
Micky Demetriou - Scored
Mark Marshall - Saved
Tristan Abrahams - scored
Gillingham: Bonham, Hodson, Ehmer, Ogilvie, Fuller, Jones, Byrne, Ndjoli, Charles-Cook, Jakubiak (Marshall 70), Hanlan
Unused subs: Walsh, o’Keefe, Mandron, List, Woods, Tucker
Newport: Townsend, Leadbitter, Howkins, Stojsavlijevic (Amond 27), Dolan, Abrahams, Nurse, Bennett (Sheehan 80), Whitely, Maloney, O’Brien.
Unused subs: King, Haynes, McNamara, Ekpiteta, Demetriou
Referee: Mr Trevor Kettle