Paul Cook's side take victory in Papa John's Trophy tie.
Goals from Joe Pigott and Conor Chaplin clinched a 2-0 win for Ipswich in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday night at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.
The former Gills striker converted from close range following a precise cross from the right wing, before Chaplin beat the offside trap following a long ball over the top to secure all three points and ensure qualification for the next round will be based on the third and final group games later this month.
Gills had two penalty shouts waved away, with Charlie Kelman and Stuart O’Keefe both denied spot kicks by the match officials, with Tomas Holy also needing to be alert to deny Olly Lee on two occasions.
Steve Evans made seven changes to the team that lost to Wigan on Saturday with Aaron Chapman, Charlie Kelman, Olly Lee, Ben Reeves and Bailey Akehurst all coming into the starting XI.
Jack Tucker returned in the centre of defence with Stuart O’Keefe chosen as Captain.
Ipswich fielded a couple of familiar names with Tomas Holy starting in goal, with former Gills loanee Joe Pigott up front.
It was a quiet start at ME7 with neither side commanding possession in the opening stages, however Ipswich gradually got a hold on the game and it was Pigott who had the first chance on goal, sending a right footed effort narrowly over the bar from 20 yards out.
Stuart O’Keefe tried his luck at the other end, slightly further out, but also sent his effort high of the target.
On 18 minutes the visitors worked play to the right hand side and Kayden Jackson sent a good ball into the heart of the penalty area, but Conor Chaplin didn’t make the desired contact and as a result guided a right footed effort comfortably wide of the left post.
Pigott saw a couple of efforts in quick succession clear the frame of the goal, before Charlie Kelman saw two shots in the matter of a few seconds well blocked. Reeves had time and space a few moments later to test Holy but, left footed, sent an effort straight at the former Gills keeper.
Chaplin went within inches of finding the bottom corner with a left footed effort, but his shot was just wide of Chapman’s post who was at full stretch to try and keep it out.
On 41 minutes, Lee’s powerful right-footed effort was tipped over by Holy for a corner which was headed just wide by Jack Tucker. With the break approaching, the Tractor Boys seized the advantage when a cross from the right hand side was powered home by Pigott.
H/T: Gillingham 0-1 Ipswich Town
The second period started as the first had, very quietly, but the tempo started to rise after ten minutes or so, and Ipswich had a chance to add a second but Rekeem Harper failed to connect properly with his left foot and the opportunity went begging.
The Gills bench thought they had a case for a penalty on 65 minutes when Kelman was brought down trying to get on the end of John Akinde’s clever flick; he hit the deck but the officials were not moved. O’Keefe went down moments later, following a corner from Olly Lee, but again the referee waved play on.
Ipswich added a second when a long ball over the top from Pigott was pounced on by Chaplin; he appeared offside on first view but advanced towards goal, the keeper came out to narrow the gap but the forward found a gap to tuck away the effort.
Holy had to be alert to keep out Olly Lee’s deflected effort from 20 yards, with Rhys Bennett close to getting on the end of Bailey Akehurst’s free-kick from close range.
Chapman made a good stop in the closing stages, getting down to his left side to save, and hold, Louie Barry’s close range effort before sub Zanda Sizibia missed the target from just inside the box.
Stuart O’Keefe nearly pulled one back but diverted a header wide of the right hand post.
F/T: Gillingham 0-2 Ipswich Town
Gills: Chapman, Bennett, Tucker, Ehmer (Lintott 60), Akehurst, O’Keefe, McKenzie, Reeves (Lloyd 73), Lee, Kelman, Akinde (Sithole 73).
Unused subs: Cumming, Tutonda, Adshead
Ipswich: Holy, Harper, Woolfenden, El Mizouni, Chaplin (Sizibia 85), Nsiala, Vincent-Young, Edwards (Barry 72), Kenlock, Pigott (Norwood 72), Jackson
Unused subs: Hladky, Humphreys, Arwin, Yengi
Referee: Mr T Kettle
Attendance: 1116 (224 Ipswich)