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Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 0-4 Sheffield United

Gills beaten at Priestfield in FA Cup third round.

6 January 2024

Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 0-4 Sheffield United

Gills beaten at Priestfield in FA Cup third round.

6 January 2024

Gills out of the FA Cup following defeat to Sheffield United at Priestfield.

Gillingham’s Emirates FA Cup journey was ended by Will Osula and James McAtee braces, as Sheffield United won 4-0 in the Third Round tie at the Priestfield Stadium.

Stephen Clemence named an unchanged starting XI for the game with Oli Hawkins joining Ashley Nadesan in attack.

Conor Masterson had Gillingham’s first half-chance of the game. Gills did well, working their way up the field as Ashley Nadesan played it wide to the overlapping Scott Malone.

The left-back curled a ball towards Oli Hawkins, but it was headed away. The hosts regained possession before playing it out to Ethan Coleman, who played it out wide. Masterson made an underlapping run, which was spotted by Connor Mahoney. Masterson did well to create space for his shot but saw his left-footed attempt blocked by a Sheffield United defender.

In the 14th minute, Will Osula gave Sheffield United the lead. The visitors broke forward, and James McAtee played the ball through for Osula, who shot from a tight angle. His low-driven shot just snuck beyond Jake Turner at his near post, with the crowd taking a few seconds to register that the ball had hit the back of the net.

Andre Brooks had a good opportunity as The Blades caught Gillingham on the counter-attack again. Cameron Archer carried the ball forward before playing it back to Brooks, who found himself unmarked. Fortunately, he did not make great contact, sending his shot towards the far corner wide of the post.

The visitors needed just a touch to double their advantage in the 30th minute. McAtee delivered a free-kick from the right in the direction of Jack Robinson. The ball evaded Robinson and the oncoming Turner, with two Sheffield United players waiting at the back post. Fortunately, the ball skipped past them and out of play for a goal-kick.

Hawkins saw a header well-saved by Wes Foderingham as he got on the end of Mahoney’s free-kick. However, he was ruled to have strayed offside.

Osula doubled Sheffield United’s lead in the 39th minute. Brooks was able to shoot from distance, with his low-driven shot carrying plenty of power. Turner could only parry away, with Osula first to the rebound to convert from a few yards out.

In the 42nd minute, Hawkins was denied by Foderingham. Mahony curled a free-kick from the right into the box, and Hawkins rose highest to head goalward. His effort was down into the ground, forcing the Sheffield United goalkeeper to get down and parry away. Nadesan was first to the rebound, but his attempted cutback was blocked, going out for a corner, which came to nothing.

Moments later, Osula had a good chance to complete his hat-trick. Archer’s effort from outside of the box was blocked, and it looped into the path of the oncoming Osula. He got ahead of Turner, but fired his shot well over the goal.


HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-2 Sheffield United


Hawkins continued to cause Sheffield United issues from set pieces as he made contact with Mahoney’s corner. It seemed that his attempt would cause Foderingham issues if it was on target, but he did not make enough contact as it skimmed off his head and out of play for a goal-kick.

Gustavo Hamer came close as he cut onto his right foot before bending a right-footed effort towards the far top corner. It had Turner beat but went just wide of the target.

On the hour, Gills made two substitutions, with Jayden Clarke and Tom Nichols replacing Cheye Alexander and Nadesan respectively.

Archer came close to making it three when the ball fell to him inside the penalty area. He struck his shot with plenty of venom, sending it over the crossbar.

There were appeals for a penalty when Masterson’s attempted header back into the box was blocked by a Sheffield United player. There were shouts for handball, but the referee ignored those claims.

In the 70th minute, Mahoney came inches away from pulling a goal back. The ball was shifted to him by Clarke, and Mahoney made his way into the box. He shot with his right foot, and it was pushed just wide of the post and into the side netting, with many Gillingham supporters thinking that it had found the back of the net.

From the resulting corner, Hawkins had a golden opportunity. The striker rose highest to win Mahoney’s corner but headed over the crossbar from close range.

Max Ehmer hit the post with a little over ten minutes remaining. Mahoney curled a free-kick from the right, which Ehmer did well to head towards the far corner. It beat Foderingham and was seemingly finding the back of the net before it bounced off the inside of the post and somehow ran free.

Sheffield United broke down the other end, and second-half substitute Rhian Brewster found himself one-on-one with Turner. The Gills goalkeeper did well to come off his line and made the save.

In the 83rd minute, McAtee made it three. Oliver Norwood played the ball through to the midfielder, who was in acres of space inside the penalty area before he calmly slotted it beyond Turner.

McAtee scored his second and The Blades’ fourth five minutes later. He received the ball short from a corner before bringing it into the penalty area and striking a left-footed effort towards the far corner. It had plenty of power and movement as it beat the outstretched Turner before nestling into the side netting.

George Lapslie replaced Jefferies in the 86th minute and came close to finding a consolation when his low-driven effort was directed towards the near post. Unfortunately, it whistled just wide of the target.


FULL-TIME: Gillingham 0-4 Sheffield United


Gillingham: Turner, Alexander (Clarke 60’), Masterson, Ehmer, Ogie, Malone, Jefferies (Lapslie 86’), Coleman, Mahoney (Dieng 86’), Nadesan (Nichols 60’), Hawkins (Bonne 86’)

Unused Substitutes: Morris, Clark, McKenzie, S. Williams


Sheffield United: Foderingham, Brooks (Souza 77’), Seriki, Norrington-Davies (Osborn 86’), Robinson, Thomas, Norwood, Hamer, McAtee, Osula (Brewster 72’), Archer (Brereton Diaz 72’)

Unused Substitutes: Davies, McBurnie, Coulibaly, Buyabu, Easton


Referee: Darren Bond

Attendance: 8801 (1266 away fans)

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