Gills slip to defeat at Portman Road.
A much-changed Gillingham side suffered a 2-0 defeat in their second EFL Trophy game at Ipswich on Tuesday evening.
Having beaten Crawley Town in the first game, a win would have seen Gills progress into the second round, but two goals in the second half ensured the points went to Ipswich.
Gillingham made a whole host of changes for the trip to Portman Road, with Jack Tucker and Zech Medley the only two players keeping their place in the starting eleven from the side that drew at Shrewsbury. Matty Willock returned to the starting line-up having recovered from an injury.
Indeed, it was Willock who came close to an early opener in Suffolk. The midfielder picked up on a loose pass in the middle of the park, drove at the Ipswich back-line and fired an effort towards goal; his effort was well placed but David Cornell got down well to save comfortably.
Gills had made a bright start and nearly broke the deadlock through Alex MacDonald just minutes later. The stand-in skipper for the evening struck powerfully from 25 yards but again Cornell was a match to the shot and tipped the effort superbly round the post.
Both teams came close to breaking the deadlock before the break. Firstly, Ben Folami dragged an effort wide from 10 yards after the ball fell kindly to him in the box before MacDonald was again denied, this time by a last-ditch tackle.
Dominic Samuel was introduced at the break, with Willock making way.
The first goal of the game came just before the hour when Armando Dobra fired superbly into the top corner. The attacker drove at the Gills backline and lashed home an effort from 25 yards – Joe Walsh had no chance in the Gills goal.
It was a setback for Steve Evans' side, who had more than matched their League One opponents for large parts. The change saw Ipswich take control and the next few minutes passed by without incident.
The crucial second goal came in the 75th minute. Jack Tucker was caught on the ball on the left hand-side, the attacker pounced and crossed for Folami who easily converted from ten yards.
Gills did go in search of a consolation but Samuel and Eccles both saw free-kicks come to nothing. Samuel fired into the keeper’s hands and Eccles shot over from 25 yards. Defeat for Gills, who will now need to beat Arsenal to progress into the next round.
Ipswich Town: Cornell, Donacien, Baggott, Woolfenden, Ndaba, McGavin, Gibbs (Siziba 90), Lankester (Viral 90), Dobra (Crane 81), Simpson, Folami.
Unused subs: Holy, Crowe, Smith, Brown.
Gillingham: Walsh, McKenzie, Maghoma, Tucker, Medley, Drysdale, Willock (Samuel 45), MacDonald (Eccles 70), Woods, Akinde, Coyle.
Unused subs: Bonham, Ogilvie, Jackson, Graham, Oliver.
Referee: Mr Charles Breakspear