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Youth Report | Ware 1-2 Gillingham

Gills dig deep in the closing stages at Wodson Park to book their place in the second round of the FA Youth Cup.

2 November 2023


Youth Report | Ware 1-2 Gillingham

Gills dig deep in the closing stages at Wodson Park to book their place in the second round of the FA Youth Cup.

2 November 2023

Goals from Josh Bayliss and Harry Waldock prove enough for Gills to advance in the FA Youth Cup.

Gillingham advanced to the second round of the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday evening following a hard-fought 2-1 win over Ware at Wodson Park.

Mark Moss’s side went 2-0 up thanks to Josh Bayliss and Harry Waldock but a goal for the hosts just before the break swung the tempo. Ware had two penalties in the second half, one which was saved by Tobey Smith and the other blazed over the bar.

Gills were reduced to nine men when Josh Woodliffe and Leighton Murray were shown red cards within ten minutes of each other and Smith had to make an excellent stop in the dying moments to ensure Moss’ men were in the hat for round two.

The visitors had Will de Wilde and Stan Skipper in holding midfield roles with Bayliss, Waldock and Jimmy Heasman in behind Kai Garrett.

Gills took the lead within the opening couple of minutes. A corner kick, taken by Harry Webster, was placed low into the heart of the danger zone. Stan Skipper allowed the ball to run beyond him and Josh Bayliss fired home an excellent shot from 15 yards. 

Garrett fired wide shortly afterwards with Heasman unlucky not to make better contact with a cross from the left which would almost certainly have given Gills a two-goal cushion.

However, two minutes later the second goal was scored when a brilliant through pass for Waldock was timed to perfection. The flag stayed down, Waldock’s shot hit the underside of the goalkeeper before nestling in the back of the net.

Ware nearly pulled one back on 31 minutes but Gabriel Chapps’ effort was well saved by Smith with the resulting corner cleared off the line. Ten minutes later though the hosts did get themselves on the scoresheet when a defensive mix up eventually allowed Max Drayton to fire home from just inside the penalty area.

With the interval approaching Smith was required again, this time from Jake Collins, to ensure Gills were ahead at the half-time whistle.


H/T: Ware 1-2 Gillingham


The hosts came out of the traps quickly in the second half but the Gills defence stood firm with their biggest opportunities coming on the counter attack. On the hour mark though the visitors gave away a penalty which gave Ware the chance to draw level.

Smith went the right way to make an excellent save before the ball was cleared. He then Jake Collins effort was thwarted by the keeper not long afterwards.

A second Ware penalty was awarded on 78 minutes when Josh Woodliffe pulled down his man inside the area. He was shown a red card which left Gills with ten men but, again, Ware wasted their opportunity with Thomas Kay blazing his shot over the bar.

A couple of minutes later Gillingham were down to nine men when Leighton Murray, on as a sub, was also shown a red card. Mark Moss ensured all men got behind the ball in the closing stages and, despite Ware having plenty of set piece chances, they couldn’t break through for a second time.

Gills could have put the game to bed in stoppage time but a driven effort from de Wilde was well saved by Nightingale.


F/T: Ware 1-2 Gillingham



Ware starting XI: Nightingale, Alowooja, Armitage, Somers, Ridley, Kay, Collins, Lawes, Ford, Chapps, Drayton 

Subs: Holland, Norman, Samfoord, Evans, Ottley, Hickman 


Gills starting XI: Smith, Dobbs, Taiwo-Pratt, Woodliffe, Webster, De Wilde, Skipper, Bayliss, Heasman, Waldock, Garrett 

Unused subs: Sullivan, Khumba, Humphrey, Murray, Morrison, Clark, Dayal 

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