Gills put in a brave display at Molineux but are eliminated from the Carabao Cup.
Raul Jimenez and Rayan Ait-Nouri scored during the final 15 minutes as Gillingham were beaten 2-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux and eliminated from the Carabao Cup.
Jimenez gave Wolves the lead in the 77th minute from the penalty spot before Ait-Nouri scored during stoppage time as the hosts caught Gills on the counter.
Neil Harris made three changes to the side that beat Dagenham & Redbridge as Cheye Alexander, Stuart O’Keefe and Mikael Mandron all returned to the starting XI. Ben Reeves dropped to the bench, while Lewis Walker and Jordan Green did not make the matchday squad.
Hugo Bueno had the first opportunity of the game as the hosts played the ball towards the penalty area. Bueno passed it to Joao Moutinho, who flicked it back to the defender. He struck a low-driven effort, but Jake Turner did well to get down and make the save.
The hosts had a good chance in the 22nd minute. A ball was played over the top of the Gills defence in the direction of Diego Costa. He and Turner both went up for the ball, and Costa was the one that won the duel. Fortunately, his backward header towards the goal went wide of the post.
In the 34th minute, Ruben Neves came close with a free-kick. The ball was positioned towards centre of the goal and the Wolves captain struck it with plenty of power. He aimed for the bottom right corner of the goal, but it went just wide of the post.
There was a moment of panic for the Gills as the ball sat nicely for Joe Hodge inside the penalty area shortly after. However, there was a Gillingham defender on hand to block his effort. The second ball fell to Daniel Podence, who got a shot away. However, there were three Gills players on hand to get in front of his shot as the visitors put their bodies on the line to keep the score goalless.
Hodge missed a golden opportunity moments later. Goncalo Guedes managed to float a cross into the penalty area. Hodge was waiting in acres of space towards the far post but somehow directed his header well wide of the target.
Neves was denied by the post in first-half stoppage time. The hosts passed a corner to the edge of the box, which the Portugal international curled goalward. It looked destined for the back of the net, but fortunately, it hit the foot of the post before Gills cleared their lines.
HALF-TIME: Wolves 0-0 Gillingham
Costa had a good chance in the 67th minute. Adama Traore, who came on at half-time, played a cross into the penalty area, which allowed the forward to get across and make contact. Fortunately, it was wide of the target as Turner was left untroubled.
Raul Jimenez had a chance from a Wolves corner as he rose the highest inside the area. However, he could not hit the target as it looped over the crossbar.
Moments later, Turner had to react quickly to deny Nelson Semedo. A ball over the top of the Gills defence found the right back, who had nipped around the back and stayed onside. He tried to place it beyond the oncoming Gills keeper, but he did well stick a leg out to keep it out as it went out for a corner.
From the resulting corner, the hosts were awarded a penalty. Multiple players were tussling inside the box as the ball scrambled around before the referee pointed to the spot.
Jimenez stepped up and calmly slotted his spot kick into the bottom corner as he waited for Turner to make the first move.
In the 88th minute, Ben Reeves saw his curling free-kick from a tight angle go straight at Jose Sa who made a routine stop.
As the board for stoppage time went up, Rayan Ait-Nouri doubled Wolves’ lead. They caught Gills on the counter as the visitors had a three-on-two. Hwang Hee Chan played the final pass to Ait-Nouri, and the left back poked it past Turner.
FULL-TIME: Wolves 2-0 Gillingham
Wolves: Sa, Semedo, Kilman, Collins, Bueno, Hodge (Traore 46’), Moutinho (Nunes 61’), Neves, Guedes (Hwang 61’), Costa (Ait-Nouri 81’), Podence (Jimenez 69)
Unused Substitutes: Sarkic, Toti, Ronan, Lembikisa
Gillingham: Turner, Alexander, Wright, Ehmer, Baggott, Tutonda, Williams (Lee 74’), O’Keefe (Reeves 73’), Jefferies (MacDonald 73’), Adelakun, Mandron (Kashket 64’)
Unused Substitutes: Holtam
Referee: Michael Salisbury