Gills beaten at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium in Emirates FA Cup first round replay.
Mattie Pollock’s early goal proved to be the winner as Gills were knocked out of the FA Cup at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium on Tuesday following a 1-0 defeat.
Pollock latched onto a header from Kyle Vassell, following a Chris Hussey corner, and found the target from close range. Gills stayed in the game throughout the second half, and had a late penalty appeal turned down when John Akinde appeared to be tripped inside the penalty area.
Steve Evans made three changes to the side that drew at Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend. Aaron Chapman, Ben Reeves and Dan Adshead all came into the starting XI. Academy player Joe Gbode was named amongst the substitutes for the first time.
Danny Lloyd had the first chance of the game in the sixth minute. He did well to bring a flick-on down before shooting with his right foot. However, it was straight at Scott Flinders, who claimed it comfortably.
In the 11th minute, Cheltenham took the lead. Chris Hussey’s corner into the area was headed into the six-yard box by Kyle Vassell, and Pollock got the defining touch into the back of the net.
After the goal, Gills had a good spell around the Cheltenham box, and a Reeves cross found Lloyd at the back post. Lloyd tried to prod it towards the goal but was quickly closed down by two defenders.
Dan Crowley forced Chapman into a save just after the half-hour mark. His free-kick from a tight angle was pushed away by the Gills keeper before the Cheltenham rebound was skied over the bar.
Gills came inches away from finding an equaliser in first-half stoppage time. Reeves’ corner found its way back out to him and his second attempt went to Jack Tucker at the back post. Adshead headed it across the goal, but no one was there to prod home from just a couple of yards out.
HALF-TIME: Cheltenham Town 1-0 Gillingham
Christian Norton had a huge chance to double the Robins lead shortly after the interval. A long ball over the top allowed him to go through one-on-one. He aimed it for the near post of Chapman, who did brilliantly to get down to it and push it wide of the post.
Conor Thomas came close for the Robins in the 68th minute. Some nice build-up play allowed him to shoot with the outside of his boot. However, it cannoned into the side netting.
Vassell almost doubled the Cheltenham lead in stoppage time as his low-drilled effort almost went through the legs of Chapman. The Gills keeper did well to read it and pulled off a good save with his legs.
Kyle Joseph was the next to come close, but he poked wide of the post after getting behind the Gills defence.
As the visitors sent men forward late on, John Akinde raced onto his own flick on and went on a surging run into the box. He appeared to be tripped, but the referee waved away the resulting appeals prior to a shot at the other end missing the target.
FULL-TIME: Cheltenham Town 1-0 Gillingham
Cheltenham Town: Flinders, Long, Pollock, Freestone, Blair, Hussey, Thomas, Sercombe (Barkers 90’), Crowley (May 72’), Vassell, Norton (Joseph 72’)
Unused Substitutes: Evans, Horton, Armitage, Williams
Gillingham: Chapman, Jackson, Tucker, Ehmer, Akehurst, Phillips (Lintott 84’), Adshead, Reeves (Gbode 62), O’Keefe, Lloyd (Sithole 34’), Akinde
Unused Substitutes: Cumming
Attendance: 2651 (138 Gills fans)