Published: 20:45, 12 November 2019
| Updated: 10:44, 13 November 2019
Gillingham end their EFL Trophy campaign with an impressive win over Tottenham’s under-21s.
A smart finish from Alex Jakubiak put the Gills ahead at the break and Jack Tucker doubled the lead with just over 10 minutes left.
The Gills had no way of progressing from the group stage of the competition, whatever Tuesday’s result, after losing their opening two games against Colchester and Ipswich.
Tuesday’s game was an opportunity for those on the outside to try and force their way into the first team at Gillingham and many did their chances no harm.
Boss Steve Evans made 10 changes to their team from the weekend FA Cup game at Sunderland, with Connor Ogilvie the only remaining starter.
Ogilvie captained the Gills on the night against his former team, one made up exclusively of under-21s.
The visitors, as expected, looked comfortable on the ball but after Gillingham sat off early on they soon settled and began to look impressive.
Mark Marshall pulled the strings on the right flank for the Gills throughout, but it was Jakubiak who put them ahead after 25 minutes, scoring a classy goal.
Ouss Cisse had picked him out with a precise pass and the Watford loan man, who hadn’t scored in his previous 10 outings, took a deft touch to move the ball into space on his left peg before firing past keeper Alfie Whiteman.
Jack Tucker came close to scoring a second shortly after, rising to meet a left-sided cross from Marshall but as the ball headed towards the far corner, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster cleared off the line.
The Gills remained creative around the Spurs box without testing the keeper for the rest of the half, while the visitors were also less than clinical.
Young goalie Joe Walsh had held onto J’Neil Bennett’s early effort but further chances late in the half from Maidstone-born Harvey White and Jubril Okedina both went wide.
Henry Woods, back in the Gills team following a loan spell at Concord Rangers, shot wide just before the break.
Spurs, who included Gillingham-born defender Luis Binks in their starting line-up, were having plenty of the ball at the start of the second half.
Chances at goal remained hard to come by for Spurs and Richards had to work hard to dig out a chance inside the box on the hour, firing over the bar on the turn.
Gills were happy to see Spurs knock it around, defending solidly and looking to hit the young visitors on the break. Regan Charles-Cook went close to breaking through, denied a run at goal by the linesman’s flag.
Former Ebbsfleet wide-man Tracey looked to take matters into his own hands, running at goal, but found now way past Ogilvie, who blocked the shot.
Tucker got Gills’ second goal on 79 minutes, heading home unmarked at the far post as he connected onto Marshall’s deep cross.
Marshall deserved a goal of his own but was denied by the visiting keeper with a couple of minutes left, Whiteman stretching to turn his 20-yard effort wide.
Gillingham: Walsh, Hodson, Garmston, Ogilvie, Tucker, Woods (O’Keefe 76mins), Charles-Cook, Cisse, Marshall, Ndjoli, Jakubiak. Subs not used: Bonham, Ehmer, Mandron, Fuller, Hanlan, Lee.
Spurs u21s: Whiteman, Okedina, Lyons-Foster (Pochettino 79mins), Eyoma, Binks, White, Shashoua, Oakley-Boothe (Patterson 46mins), Tracey, Bennett, Richards (Clarke 74mins). Subs not used: Oluwayemi, Dinzeyi, Hinds, Thorpe.
More by this authorLuke Cawdell