Logan Dobbs and Kai Garrett score the goals as Gills defeat Oxford to prevail in the FA Youth Cup.
Kai Garrett converted an extra-time penalty to book Gills a place in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup following a 2-1 win over Oxford at Priestfield on Tuesday night.
Logan Dobbs had given Gills the lead early in the first half, but Leo Snowden equalized in the second half to set up a tense final half an hour at Priestfield.
The game went to extra-time and a foul on Joshua Bayliss gave Garrett the chance to all but seal the victory, and he converted from 12 yards to send Gills through.
Mark Moss was able to name Stan Skipper in the starting XI, who also captained the side having missed the previous round with Eastleigh due to injury.
Harry Bridle was among the substitutes, as was Leighton Murray and Josh Woodliffe.
It was a competitive start from both sides on a quick surface following a lot of rain earlier in the day, but Gills made the first chance of the game and scored from it when Harry Webster’s cross from the left was played into a great area.
An Oxford clearance was blocked by Dobbs, he reacted quickly and found the back of the net from just a few yards out.
The visitors grew into the game and on 19 minutes should have been level when a cross from the left by Richard McIntyre found Aidan Elliott-Wheeler unmarked eight yards from goal. He made contact but guided his header just wide of the right post.
Just after the half hour mark Gills had a good opportunity to make it two. A ball over the top gave Bayliss something to chase, he sprinted past a defender who had left the ball for his keeper to deal with. Marriott had to retreat, allowing Bayliss to chip him. It was a fine effort but it struck the side netting.
H/T: Gillingham 1-0 Oxford United
A little under two minutes into the half and Garrett had a good chance to double the Gills lead. A forward move resulted in the forward receiving possession 25 yards out. He moved to his right, took a touch and unleashed a shot which went just past the post.
Seconds later and Jimmy Heasman had an equally good chance. He kept the ball in play on the far right side of the field, he cut inside and attempted to guide a left footed effort into the corner. Monty Marriott made a strong save with Garrett’s follow up striking the side of the net.
On 53 minutes Oxford equalized when a cross from the right by Kasway Burton was met by Smith. He made contact but the ball struck Snowden and it crossed the line before the Gills keeper could react.
The next half an hour produced little goal mouth action at either end, however Stan Skipper had to be replaced due to injury and Leighton Murray came on in his place.
F/T: Gillingham 1-1 Oxford
A strong defensive block from Dobbs prevented Oxford from adding a second early in the half, with a couple of corner kicks well defended by the hosts.
The visitors had a golden chance when Tobias Brenan played in Louis Griffiths, but he blazed his effort over the bar from just inside the box.
With 100 minutes on the clock Gills won a penalty when Bayliss was fouled on the left side of the penalty area, the referee had no option but to award the spot kick and Garrett calmly stepped up and powered a low effort beyond Marriott.
HT in ET: Gillingham 2-1 Oxford
Leighton Murray had a decent chance midway through the half when he had space from 25 yards, he took a touch before picking his spot but guided a powerful effort wide of the target.
McIntyre had a late chance with a free-kick to force penalties, but his effort was straight at Tobey Smith.
FT in ET: Gillingham 2-1 Oxford
Gills: Smith, Webster, Dobbs, Taiwo-Pratt (Woodliffe 98), Walker, De Wilde, Skipper (Murray 58), Waldock (Clark 88), Heasman, Bayliss (Dayal 102), Garrett
Unused subs: Hegarty, Orpwood, Bridle
Oxford: Marriott, Maxwell (Mole 63), McIntyre, Smith, Bangurah, Took-Oxley, Burton, Brenan, Snowden, Elliott-Wheeler, Cooper (Griffiths 78).
Unused subs: Patel, Travin, Doyle, Holton
Referee: Mr G Heron