Gills advance to the third round of the Carabao Cup following victory over Exeter.
David Tutonda and Jake Turner were the penalty shootout heroes as Gillingham beat Exeter 6-5 on spot kicks to progress to the third round of the Carabao Cup.
After both sides scored their first five penalties at MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Turner did well to keep Josh Key’s spot kick out of the goal.
Tutonda then stepped up to calmly slot his penalty beyond Scott Brown to send Gills through.
Neil Harris made six changes to his starting XI. Jake Turner, David Tutonda, Olly Lee, Alex MacDonald, Scott Kashket and Lewis Walker came into the team. Mikael Mandron and Hakeeb Adelakun were among the subs, as was youth team defender Freddie Carter.
Gills had a great opportunity to take an early lead. Tutonda won possession inside the Exeter half and made a burst towards the penalty area. He had Walker alongside him, and as he got into the box, he had the option to shoot or square it. He opted to square it to Walker but put too much power on the pass as it went beyond the forward.
Stuart O’Keefe had a good half chance in the 23rd minute. A corner towards the back post was headed back across the goal into the six-yard box by Elkan Baggott. O’Keefe was the man to get his head on it, but he could not guide it goalward as it went high and wide of the target.
Lee forced Scott Brown into a save in the 31st minute. He picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and ran towards the penalty area before shooting with his left foot. His effort was straight at Brown, who got down low to bring it into his chest.
HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Exeter City
Josh Key forced Turner into a save just a couple of minutes into the second half. He received the ball 25 yards from goal and tried a curling shot. It caught Turner off guard as he had to palm it behind for a corner, which came to nothing.
Ben Reeves, who replaced O’Keefe at half-time, had a half chance in the 66th minute. Walker did well to find Lee on the edge of the box before the midfielder laid it off to Reeves. He struck it from 20 yards out but failed to hit the target as it went over the bar.
Jake Caprice almost found the winner in second-half stoppage time. Exeter caught Gills on the counter-attack after Caprice somehow kept the ball in play. He cut inside on his right foot as he got towards the penalty area before trying to beat Turner with a curling effort.
His shot was straight at the Gills keeper but snuck through his legs. It had Gillingham hearts in their mouths, but Turner managed to trap the ball underneath himself.
Moments later, Jordan Green almost found a winner for Gillingham. Mikael Mandron played the ball to Hakeeb Adelakun on the right, and his pass into the box found Green. He shot first time as he tried to stroke the ball into the bottom corner. His effort beat Brown and the post as Gills came inches away from winning the tie.
The game ended all square after 90 minutes, so the winner was decided via a penalty shootout.
FULL-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Exeter City
Gills won the penalty shootout 6-5. After both teams scored their first five penalties, the shootout went to sudden death. Josh Key saw his penalty saved by Jake Turner, and David Tutonda stepped up to calmly slot his penalty into the back of the net.
Gillingham: Turner, Alexander, Wright, Ehmer, Baggott, Tutonda, O’Keefe (Reeves 46’), Lee, MacDonald (Mandron 80’), Kashket (Adelakun 89’), Walker (Green 81’)
Unused Substitutes: Morris, Carter, Law
Exeter City: Brown, Key, Sweeney (Diabate 64’), Stubbs, Grounds (Hartridge 73’), Caprice, Kite (Collins 60’), Dieng (Chauke 72’), Coley, Brown, Jay (Cox 73’)
Unused Substitutes: Blackman, Sparkes, Borges, Nombe
Referee: Carl Brook
Attendance: 2927 (257)