Gills advance into the second round of the Emirates FA Cup following victory over AFC Fylde at ME7.
Lewis Walker scored the only goal of the game as Gillingham progressed to the second round of the Emirates FA Cup with a 1-0 win over AFC Fylde at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.
Neil Harris made five changes to the starting XI that was beaten by Northampton at the weekend. Jake Turner, Cheye Alexander, Max Ehmer, Scott Kashket and Lewis Walker all made the XI.
Glenn Morris was not in the squad after coming off with an injury on Saturday. Taite Holtam was among the subs.
Walker had Gillingham’s first opportunity in the ninth minute. Stuart O’Keefe took a quick throw, which the striker got on the end of. The former QPR man advanced into the box but he missed the target from a difficult angle.
Moments later, Kashket won a penalty after being brought down by Alex Whitmore. The Gills forward took the spot kick himself, he sent the keeper the wrong way but guided the effort just wide.
Gills began to take control of the game as they continued to put pressure on the AFC Fylde goal. The ball sat nicely for Dom Jefferies to shoot from 12 yards out, but he could not make clear contact with his effort as it went wide of the post with a defending sliding in at the last moment to put him off.
Nick Haughton had AFC Fylde’s first shot on target in the 22nd minute. The midfielder found space to shoot from around 20 yards out, but his curling effort proved to be a comfortable save for Jake Turner.
Walker gave Gillingham the lead a couple of minutes before the break. Gills won possession high up the pitch, and the ball was played to the striker, who found himself one-on-one. Neal was coming to close Walker down, but he calmly slotted it beyond the visiting keeper.
HALF-TIME: Gillingham 1-0 AFC Fylde
Haughton forced Turner into a save in the 50th minute as he tried to catch the Gills goalkeeper out from range. It was a powerful shot, which Turner had to push over the bar for a corner, which came to nothing.
Alexander made an important headed clearance to deny Joe Rowley from having a huge chance to equalise. Haughton’s cross into the box looked like it would be on a plate for Rowley to head home, but Alexander was on hand to get the all-important touch and keep Gillingham in front.
Kashket came close to making it two for the hosts as he did well to make his way into the AFC Fylde penalty area on the left side. However, he saw his effort saved by Neal, who came to close the shot down.
Emeka Obi forced Turner into a save in the 64th minute. After a couple of blocks, the ball found its way to Obi, who was 20 yards from goal. He struck the effort with plenty of power, but Turner did well to catch the effort.
The visitors continued to search for an equaliser as they put the Gillingham back four, and goal, under pressure. However, Neil Harris' men stood strong as the hosts got through to the second round, where they will travel to Dagenham and Redbridge.
FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-0 AFC Fylde
Gillingham: Turner, Alexander, Ehmer (Wright 46’), Baggott, McKenzie (Mnoga 67’), Jefferies (Law 90’), O’Keefe, Williams, Green (Reeves 66’), Kashket (MacDonald 82’), Walker
Unused Substitutes: Holtam, Lee, Adelakun, Mandron
AFC Fylde: Neal, Weston (Philliskirk 63’), Obi, Whitmore, Rowley (Patten 73’), Haughton, Conlan, Ligendza, Whitehead, Hatfield, Bird
Unused Substitutes: Davis, McPartlan
Referee: Will Finnie
Attendance: 1932 (66)