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Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 0-1 Leicester City

Gills battle hard at Priestfield but are narrowly beaten by Leicester.

7 January 2023

Gills fall to narrow defeat at home to Premier League Leicester in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Kelechi Iheanacho scored the only goal of the game as Gillingham fell just short in their efforts against Leicester City in the FA Cup at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

In the 56th minute, a ball into the box overran, and Kasey McAteer got on the end of it at the back post. He cut the ball back in the direction of Jamie Vardy, who could not bring it under control, but Iheanacho was on hand to thump the ball into an empty net.

Neil Harris made three changes to the side that lost to Stevenage as Jake Turner returned in goal for Glenn Morris, who returned to Crawley after his loan deal finished. Hakeeb Adelakun and Cheye Alexander returned to the starting XI, while Stuart O’Keefe and Mikael Mandron dropped to the bench.

Turner was called into action in the sixth minute to deny Jamie Vardy. The ball was played through to the forward inside the penalty area, and he managed to get a shot away. However, Turner came to close him down before Will Wright cleared the second ball.

Dom Jefferies forced Daniel Iversen into a save moments later as he broke forward. He was allowed to make his way towards the edge of the penalty area before directing a shot towards the far bottom corner. Iversen got down to get a hand on it to push it away, and the rebound got away from Scott Kashket.

Gills had a good spell of possession around the Leicester penalty area in the 30th minute as they were waiting for the ball to bounce the right way for them. Dave Tutonda’s floated cross into the penalty area was directed towards Jefferies, but the ball was headed down into space inside the box.

Unfortunately, there was no Gillingham player in the vicinity before it came out to Shaun Williams, who saw his volley blocked as it floated into the arms of Iversen.

Gills came close again as Robbie McKenzie’s long throw was caught in the wind, and it made its way to Max Ehmer. The defender flicked it goalward before Williams came across to try and head it beyond Iversen at his near post. However, it lacked any pace or power to threaten the Leicester keeper, who comfortably claimed it.

Kelechi Iheanacho came close on the stroke of half-time as he was allowed to cut inside on his left foot. He aimed a curling effort towards the far corner, which, fortunately, curled just wide of the post as Turner was left untroubled.


HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Leicester City


Turner was called into action during the opening moments of the second half. Marc Albrighton tried to volley a first-time side-footed cross into the box, but the wind carried it goalward. The Gills goalkeeper had to back pedal as he pushed it over the crossbar for a corner.

In the 56th minute, Kelechi Iheanacho gave Leicester the lead. A cross into the box overran as it made its way to Kasey McAteer. He dragged the ball back in the direction of Vardy, who could not bring it under his control, but Iheanacho was waiting to smash it into the back of the net.

Turner had to deny Iheanacho on the hour as the forward made his way towards the penalty area. The Gills keeper came well off his line to deny the striker as he tried to slot his effort beyond Turner.

Adelakun had a shot on target moments later. An attempted clearance from the visitors deflected off their own man before it came out to Adelakun. The winger cut onto his right foot before trying his luck from 25 yards. It bounced just in front of Iversen, but it was too central to cause him any problems.

Vardy came close moments later as he capitalised on a loose ball behind the Gillingham defence. He ran towards the goal before trying to slot the ball beyond Turner at his near post. Fortunately, the Gills keeper had it covered as he got a hand on it to send it wide of the post.

Gills were forced into a first change in the 70th minute as Jefferies went down with what appeared to be an injury to his knee, and he was replaced by O’Keefe.

Patson Daka, who replaced Vardy, came inches away from making it two. Iheanacho broke down the right and had acres of space to run into. He played an excellent pass towards the back post, which was on a plate for Daka. However, he could not get on the end of it as he was at full stretch sliding in.


FULL-TIME: Gillingham 0-1 Leicester City


Gillingham: Turner, Alexander (Harriott 79’), Wright, Ehmer, McKenzie, Tutonda (Mandron 85’), MacDonald, Jefferies (O’Keefe 70’), Williams, Adelakun, Kashket

Unused Substitutes: Holtam, Law, Lee


Leicester City: Iversen, Albrighton, Soyuncu, Vestergaard, McAteer (Thomas 84’), Tielemans, Mendy (Ndid 81’), Brunt, Perez, Vardy (Daka 81’), Iheanacho

Unused Substitutes: Smithies, Faes, Barnes, Amartery, Castagne, Braybrooke


Referee: Samuel Barrott

Attendance: 8567 (1893 away supporters)

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