Published: 21:30, 08 October 2019
| Updated: 00:54, 09 October 2019
Gillingham are out of EFL Trophy contention with a game remaining after being well-beaten by Ipswich Town.
Goals from Emyr Huws and Jordan Roberts put Ipswich two goals up by the break and there was no coming back for the Gills after conceding an own goal in the second half. Will Keane wrapped it up with a late fourth.
Defeat for the Gills, coupled with a draw for Colchester against Spurs’ under-21’s, means they can’t progress from the group section, with a game against Tottenham’s youngsters to play.
Gillingham made wholesale changes for the match, with Connor Ogilvie the only survivor from the weekend starting XI.
Henry Woods was handed his starting debut in a Gills shirt, Bradley Garmston made his first appearance of the season and there was a rare appearance for midfielder Ouss Cisse.
League 1 leaders Ipswich made nine changes but had plenty of strength in depth.
Prior to the match Gills boss Steve Evans had offered to shake and make up with Paul Lambert after their recent bust-up but the Ipswich manager said he would never interact with his counterpart again. Goalkeeper coach Simon Royce was the only member of the management team to shake Lambert’s hand before kick off.
On the field Gills started positively enough, with Regan Charles-Cook operating behind lone-man Mikael Mandron, but it was the hosts who struck first.
With eight minutes on the clock Emyr Hughes tried his luck from distance with a shot that skimmed off the surface and beat keeper Joe Walsh, nestling in the bottom corner of the net.
Ipswich had a second on 22 minutes. Connor Ogilvie got in the way of Idris El Mizouni’s long-range punt but the ball then dropped nicely for Jordan Roberts, 12 yards out, and he finished with aplomb.
There were few clear-cut chances for either side in the first half but Ipswich had shown their ruthless side to get the upper-hand. Gillingham, who hadn’t tested home keeper Will Norris in the opening 45 minutes, needed more ideas upfront if they wanted to turn the tie around after the break.
Gills keeper Walsh had to make an early save with his feet to deny Danny Rowe, and fellow Ipswich midfielder El Mizouni went close too, with a shot that got deflected over and an attempt direct from a corner kick soon after.
Ipswich got their third from another El Mizouni corner. Rowe was credited with the goal by the stadium announcer but in a crowded area it looked like an own goal from Bradley Garmston, the ball deflecting off his boot past Walsh.
Gillingham had created little all evening and Alex Jakubiak and Olly Lee were thrown on for the last 20 minutes to see if they could do any better but the game ended without a meaningful chance for the visitors.
Walsh made a save late on from Gwion Edwards but when Keane found himself with space he made no mistake, firing past the Gills keeper.
Ipswich: Norris, Wilson (Hughes 79mins), Nsiala, Woolfenden, Donacien (Edwards 46mins), Kenlock, Huws, El Mizouni, Rowe, Roberts (Dobra 46mins), Keane. Subs not used: Wright, McGavin, Clements, Simpson.
Gillingham: Walsh, Hodson, Garmston, Ogilvie, Tucker, Cisse, Pringle, Marshall, Woods, Charles-Cook (Jakubiak 69mins), Mandron (Lee 69mins). Subs not used: Bonham, O‘Keefe, Ehmer, Ndjoli, O’Connor.
More by this authorLuke Cawdell