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Gillingham 0 Tottenham Hotspur under-21s 4 - Checkatrade Trophy match report

By Luke Cawdell

Just over 300 fans watched on as Gillingham’s progress in the Checkatrade Trophy was halted by Tottenham’s youngsters.

A heavy defeat to the Premier League side’s under-21s means the Gills are unable to progress past the first round, with a game still to play, having lost both of their opening group matches.

Jack Roles put Tottenham a goal up just a minute before the break with a close range finish and he then provided the assist for Paris Maghoma to double the lead after the restart. Late goals from Jaden Brown and Dylan Duncan sealed the win for Spurs.

Josh Rees puts in a challenge on Jaden Brown Picture: Ady Kerry (4705003)
Josh Rees puts in a challenge on Jaden Brown Picture: Ady Kerry (4705003)

Tuesday’s game - played at The Valley due to works being undertaken on Gills’ pitch - followed a 4-0 defeat to Portsmouth earlier in the competition. Gillingham are bottom of the group, without a point and set to face Crawley next month in their final game.

The Gills made seven changes to the team which started their league game at Portsmouth but leading scorer Tom Eaves was one of those to keep their place.

Tottenham’s oldest player was their keeper Alfie Whiteman, aged 20, with youth boss Wayne Burnett naming a team full of teenagers with no league experiences.

While Spurs had drawn their opening Trophy match with League 2 Crawley Town, the Gills had suffered a 4-0 drubbing at Portsmouth.

There was a sparse crowd in attendance at The Valley - slightly more than the 274 that watched Gills’ game at West Brom in the same competition two years ago. The atmosphere was subdued and the action on the pitch struggled to get the pulses racing.

Brandon Hanlan challenges for the ball before suffering a hamstring injury Picture: Ady Kerry (4705001)
Brandon Hanlan challenges for the ball before suffering a hamstring injury Picture: Ady Kerry (4705001)

Spurs keeper Whiteman held onto shots from Luke O’Neill and Ben Chapman while Roles put the best of the early opportunities wide, off the mark after the ball fell invitingly into his path from 15 yards out.

The first real save came on 44 minutes when Tom Hadler was forced into action to deny Paris Maghoma but the loose ball was guided home by the onrushing Roles.

There was a double change for the Gills at the break with Callum Reilly and Mark Byrne on for Dean Parrett and Ben Chapman.

Elliott List went close early on in the second half, his header tipped over the bar by Whiteman. Byrne also blasted an effort wide as the Gills continued to push for an equaliser.

Gillingham's Kack Tucker jumps for the ball Picture: Ady Kerry (4704999)
Gillingham's Kack Tucker jumps for the ball Picture: Ady Kerry (4704999)

Despite Gills’ positive start to the half, they fell further behind after 57 minutes, Roles picking Maghoma out in the box and he finished with a low strike that went in off the post.

The Gills lost Brandon Hanlan to injury just 10 minutes after he had replaced Elliott List and the evening got worse for Steve Lovell's side when Brown steered the ball home after Hadler had made a save to deny J’Neil Bennett.

Substitute Duncan scored the fourth from the penalty spot in stoppage-time after Jack Tucker had committed a foul in the box.

Gillingham: Hadler, O’Neill, Garmston, Ehmer, Tucker, Rees, Chapman (Byrne 46mins), Nasseri, Parrett (Reilly 46mins), List (Hanlan 65mins), Eaves. Subs not used: Holy, Huckle, Simpson, Stevenson.

Tottenham: Whiteman, Brown, Marsh, Dinzeyi (Binks 82mins), Skipp, Roles (Bennett 66mins), Tanganga, Hinds (Duncan 84mins), Bowden, Maghoma, Richards. Subs not used: Austin, Lyons-Foster.

Attendance: 308 (60 Tottenham)

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