Craig Stone's side dominate for long spells but two penalties swing the momentum in cup tie.
Gills suffered a first round defeat in the FA Youth Cup at the hands of Hanworth Villa who won 3-2 at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The home side created several opportunities in the first half which could have settled the game before the break, however Villa’s Captain, Teo Kurtaran, dispatched two penalties within four minutes of each other and led his side, very much against the run of play, into the half time break 2-0 up.
Gills got one back through Matt Baker, however the visitors got their third just minutes later thanks to a Christopher Stokes header. The home side then netted soon after with a cool finish by Jay Hards, but the hosts were unable to draw level before the final whistle.
In the first 30 minutes Gills were by far the better side, who created a number of chances to put themselves ahead. The first of which came from a penalty after ten minutes; Stokes made a clumsy challenge on Toby Bancroft which gave the referee no choice but to point to the spot. Bancroft stepped up to take the kick, however his effort struck the post and Villa managed to clear.
Another chance went begging five minutes later as Bancroft went one-on-one with the keeper, but he was unable to convert as Cawdron did well to force the forward wide.
Gills then had two successive efforts hit the bar, the first of which came from a long ball over the top from keeper Charlie Walker that set up Hards with a glorious opportunity, although rather unluckily his lofted effort hit the top of the crossbar and went out for a goal-kick.
Two minutes later, wing-back Jimmy Witt did well to win a free-kick 25 yards from goal, which Harry Laing struck well and, although he beat the keeper, he couldn’t beat the woodwork.
At this stage the Gills had dominated play and could have settled the tie, but these missed chances appeared to give the visitors confidence and Villa started to see more of the ball towards the end of the first half, and they nearly went one up through Kevin Nyarko. His powerful strike was stopped by a brave tackle from Witt, who managed to get his body behind the ball just in time to stop what looked to be a certain goal.
However the visitors were given a golden opportunity when a penalty was awarded just after the half hour mark and Kurtaran made no mistake in slotting past Walker.
Almost immediately after the penalty, Gillingham should have levelled after another golden opportunity for Bancroft. The forward went through one-on-one with the keeper; however he managed to slice his effort wide of the far post.
Gillingham were again punished for their mistakes as Ronnie Nelson gave away a penalty after sliding in the box and catching Nyarko, who hit the deck and the referee pointed to the spot for a second time.
Kurtaran stepped up to take his second penalty and scored with a cheeky ‘panenka’ to double their lead and sprinted towards the visiting fans in celebration.
Gills started the second half well and managed to keep possession with some impressive passages of play, and continued to trouble the Villa back four.
Their first chance of the second half came after 57 minutes, and Laing’s turn and shot was saved well by Harry Cawdron to keep the home side at bay.
Soon after, Gills managed to finally beat the keeper thanks to Matt Baker, who deflected in a Bancroft header which Cawdron couldn’t quite keep out.
Despite halving their deficit, Gillingham were unable to capitalise on the momentum by conceding a goal from a set piece. Kurtaran whipped in a vicious free-kick which was nodded home by Stokes to make it 3-1 to the visitors.
The game wasn’t over there though, as Gillingham managed to pull one back with 20 minutes to go. Hards smartly finished thanks to a precision though ball by Laing, to give the home side a big lift going into the final stages of the game.
Gillingham weren’t quite able to find an equaliser, despite their best efforts, and the full-time whistle blew which means Hanworth will progress to the second round.
Gills: Walker, Niblett, Nelson, Lamb, Baker, Laing, Lintott, Chambers, Bancroft, Hards, Witt (Medhurst 73).
Unused Subs: Maher, Dalton, Leach, Smith, Akehurst, Britton.
Hanworth: Cawdron, Gjoshe, Carmichael, Akono Bilongo, Skura, Stokes, Habimana (Taylor 70), Kurtaran, Nyarko, Manning (Perkins 84), Makobe.
Unused Subs: Hooper, Melville, Marin, Yenings, Shields.
Referee: Craig Barnett
Gills Scorers: Baker, Hards
Villa Scorers: Kurtaran (X2), Stokes