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FA Cup third round draw: Gillingham face Cardiff City at Priestfield

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham will entertain Premier League opposition at Priestfield in the third round of the FA Cup.

Steve Lovell's men have been handed a home draw against Neil Warnock's Cardiff City.

Gills boss Steve Lovell - born in Swansea - was a guest manager in the studio on Monday night at Chelsea as the draw was made live on BBC 1.

Gillingham manager Steve Lovell Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham manager Steve Lovell Picture: Ady Kerry

Lovell said: "I'm delighted to get a home tie against a Premier League side and we'll be looking forward to it, it will be a great tie.

"It's a Welsh team, they will bring good support, it will be a great day."

Ex-England international and two-time FA Cup winner Paul Ince was joined by former Dutch ace Ruud Gullit as those chosen to pull the numbers out of the hat.

The third round of the competition takes place on the weekend of Saturday, January 5.

Former Gills boss Ronnie Jepson is first team coach at Cardiff City
Former Gills boss Ronnie Jepson is first team coach at Cardiff City

Among the members of Warnock's backroom staff at Cardiff is former Gills boss Ronnie Jepson, first team coach with the Bluebirds.

He was Gills boss between 2005 and 2007.

Gillingham last met Cardiff in the FA Cup back in December 1996, winning that second round tie 2-0.

It's the first time the Gills have been in the third round of the FA Cup since 2012.

The Gills met Stoke City in the competition that year, losing 3-1 at home to the Premier League side.

Darren Oldaker celebrates the winner against Slough on Sunday Picture: Ady Kerry
Darren Oldaker celebrates the winner against Slough on Sunday Picture: Ady Kerry

Gillingham reached this season's FA Cup third round thanks to wins over two non-league sides.

They overcame Hartlepool United in a first round replay after a last-gasp Tom Eaves penalty kept them in the tie.

On Sunday they beat Slough Town in their second round match, winning 1-0, thanks to a super strike from Darren Oldaker.

Gillingham's best run in the competition came during the 1999/2000 campaign when they made it through to the quarter-finals, where Peter Taylor's men - backed by 7,000 travelling fans at Stamford Bridge - were eventually halted by Chelsea, losing 5-0 to Gianluca Vialli's side.

Matt Jarvis celebrates his goal for the Gills when Cardiff last visited Priestfield. The Championship fixture in April 2005 ended 1-1 Picture: Grant Falvey
Matt Jarvis celebrates his goal for the Gills when Cardiff last visited Priestfield. The Championship fixture in April 2005 ended 1-1 Picture: Grant Falvey

The same side knocked them out at the fourth round stage the following year, losing 4-2 at home.

The Gills made it to round five the following season and that time it was Arsenal who knocked them out.

In recent years the FA Cup has brought little joy to Gills' fans, with losses to lower league sides Burscough, Barnet, Accrington, Dover, Brackley Town (twice), Stevenage and Carlisle United.

Aston Villa were visitors to Priestfield in 2009, winning that third round tie 2-1.

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