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FA Cup: Gillingham matchwinner Darren Oldaker hoping for third-round clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford

By Luke Cawdell

Darren Oldaker’s most important goal yet sent the Gills through to round three of the FA Cup on Sunday.

The 19-year-old fired home from 30 yards to see off non-league Slough Town 1-0 in the second round.

It was a goal that could possibly lead to a money-spinning third round tie and Oldaker would love it if his strike takes them to Old Trafford.

Darren Oldaker pursued by Slough's Simon Dunn Picture: Ady Kerry
Darren Oldaker pursued by Slough's Simon Dunn Picture: Ady Kerry

“It’s my biggest goal yet,” said the teenage midfielder. “As soon as I hit it, I knew it was a sweet strike.

“I looked up and I was buzzing as soon as I saw it hit the net. It could have gone 30 yards over the bar, I have hit a couple this season that have gone miles over, but I do them in training and they go straight in. You have to keep trying and I don’t have any fear.

“That goal is up there with the best and I am buzzing for it.

“The important thing is that we are in the next round. It was a big goal and it meant a lot.”

Asked who he would like in Monday night’s draw, he had no hesitation.

“Manchester United, Old Trafford,” he said. “My old man is a Manchester United fan, too. I have been there loads of times, playing there would be a dream.”

The Gills have had to work hard to get to the third round, beating Hartlepool in extra-time of a first-round replay and then narrowly squeezing past a Slough side who play their football three divisions below.

“They were on us from start to finish, a very good team,” said Oldaker.

“It would be nice to be the underdog (in round three) where the pressure is not on you. We have had pressure on us in our last two, no matter how we played. I am glad we came away with a win.”

The draw for the third round will be broadcast on Monday night on BBC1 from 7.30pm.

Forty-four clubs from the Premier League and the Championship join the 20 clubs that have qualified from round two and the Gills will be ball number 64. United are number 24.

Gills are the last team from Kent left in the competition after Maidstone were baten by Oldham Athletic on Saturday.

Third round ties take place on the weekend of Saturday, January 5, meaning Gills’ home league game with Accrington will need rearranging.

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