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Stevenage 3 Gillingham 0 – match report

Gillingham were knocked out of the FA Cup by lower league opponents Stevenage on Saturday.

Stevenage scored twice in a 15-minute spell during the opening half to take charge of the first round tie.

Armand Gnanduillet struck a third in injury-time to cap a miserable day for the Gills.

Justin Edinburgh Picture: Barry Goodwin
Justin Edinburgh Picture: Barry Goodwin

Defeat meant for the third year in a row the Gills exited the competition at the first round stage.

The Gills had put the pressure on in the latter stages but it was too little too late for the League 1 promotion-chasers.

Gills boss Justin Edinburgh had been forced into a change in central defence after Harry Lennon was refused permission by Charlton to play. Max Ehmer replaced him in the XI.

Edinburgh was also without suspended pair Bradley Dack and Josh Wright.

Stevenage, who lost 5-1 in their previous outing, made a bright start to the match and caught Gills napping for the opener.

A short corner was played out to Steven Schumacher and he drove home the ball from 20 yards in the 13 minute.

The Gills were struggling to create openings of their own upfront and they found themselves two goals down in the 28 minute, with a goal coming from another corner.

Former Gills player Chris Whelpdale got on the end of it and the ball crept in past Ryan Jackson on the line. Ben Kennedy claimed a touch on the way in.

Gills striker Cody McDonald had a chance almost immediately afterwards, trying to convert Brennan Dickenson’s low cross from close-range, but keeper Jesse Joronen got down well to make the save,

Rory Donnelly glanced a chance wide as the Gills ended the half better than they started it but the two-goal margin remained at the break.

Edinburgh kept the same XI for the start of the second half but switched formation with Ryan Jackson and Dickenson deployed as wing-backs.

It was a change that helped make the Gills look more of a threat going forward early on in the second half.

Despite Gillingham’s improvements the hosts remained a threat. Armand Gnanduillet dinked an effort just over and Schumacher was denied by Jackson.

Late chance s from Williamson and Hessenthaler went wide and it took a good save from sub keeper Chris Day – on for injured Joronen - to deny Donnelly. Hessenthaler smashed the follow-up over the bar.

Gnanduillet put a chance narrowly wide in the last minute for the hosts but got a deserved goal in stoppage-time, as the hosts hit Gillingham on the break.

Emmanuel Osadebe struck the bar late on and Jackson was denied by a good save but the Gills were unable to get on the scoresheet.

Stevenage: Joronen (Day 77mins), Henry, Franks, Wells, Ogilvie, Parrett, Schumacher (Conlon 75mins), Whelpdale, Pett, Kennedy (Hughes 87mins), Gnanduillet. Subs not used: Gordon, Williams, Marriott, Okimo.

Gillingham: Nelson, Jackson, Egan, Ehmer, Houghton (Hessenthaler 60mins), Loft, McDonald (Williamson 67mins), Morris, Dickenson (Garmston 60mins), Osadebe, Donnelly. Subs not used: McGlashan, Morris, Davies, Oldaker.

Attendance: 1,619 (519 away)

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