Gillingham beaten in Checkatrade Trophy
Checkatrade Trophy: Gillingham 0-4 Spurs
Tue 09 October 2018, 22:08|Tottenham Hotspur
Goals from Jack Roles, Paris Maghoma and Jaden Brown, plus a stoppage-time penalty from Dylan Duncan, gave our Development Squad their first win in the Checkatrade Trophy away to Gillingham on Tuesday night.
Roles gobbled up a close-range chance following a mistake by goalkeeper Tom Hadler right at the end of a subdued first half at The Valley in Charlton, the game having been switched there due to ground works at the Gills' Priestfield Stadium, but it was midfielder Maghoma who seemed to be making things happen in the early stages of the second period – his reward, an important second goal to kill off the League One side, who included four starting players from the team that stunned league leaders Portsmouth 2-0 at the weekend. One of those was our former midfielder Dean Parrett, the Academy graduate who made four first team appearances for us in Europe between 2009 and 2011 and who last year scored the winner against us for AFC Wimbledon in our maiden Checkatrade Trophy campaign. Left-back Brown and substitute Duncan completed our 4-0 win late on.
Coincidentally, Portsmouth are our next opponents in Southern Group A. They stayed top with maximum points after their 1-0 win over Crawley Town while we moved into second on four points, having shared the spoils after our initial 1-1 draw in an eventual penalty shootout loss to Crawley last month.
Neither side really took the game by the scruff of the neck in the first half, although there were a couple of big chances before the opener. Elliott List steered over the bar from six yards out in the Gills’ best opportunity while Brown's low delivery was knocked nicely into the path of Roles in a pocket of space just inside the box, but he fired high and wide with 21 minutes gone. Goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman made a routine take from Ben Chapman's rising shot but 18-year-old forward Rodel Richards had a difficult task leading the line for us on his first start at this level, being caught out by the off-side flag on more than one occasion.
A regular for our Under-18s in recent weeks since his return from injury, Richards found more joy when he dropped slightly deeper in the lead-up to our opening goal. Maghoma looked for a quick one-two with him in midfield, it didn't quite come off as planned but Richards still managed to nudge the ball into Maghoma's path for him to run on and try a low shot which Hadler spilled, with Roles reacting quickest to flick high into the net from close range.
Although Gillingham made an early push for an equaliser on the resumption, they never really fashioned any clear chances and instead it was our young side who started to shine. We duly added to our lead on 57 minutes when Roles got in behind the defence and squared for Maghoma, who stepped in-field and drilled in low off the near post. After controlling much of the play from there on in, we grabbed a third on 82 minutes when Oliver Skipp played substitute J'Neil Bennett through on goal, Hadler saved his effort one-on-one with Brown following in to slide home the loose ball.
There was then a nice moment for 17-year-old defender Luis Binks who came off the bench against his home town club – he used to be a Gills season ticket holder and his mum works for the Kent outfit – before Duncan was brought down in the box by Jack Tucker and got back up to send Hadler the wrong way from the spot in the third minute of added time.
Maghoma’s goal shortly before the hour mark allowed the players a bit of a cushion and led to us playing with more freedom for the last half-an-hour. Roles might have taken the shot on himself after getting in behind the defence but, with a man over in Maghoma, he squared to the midfielder and he made no mistake from nine yards out.
“We knew it was going to be a difficult task but when we went two goals up, it relaxed us a bit and enabled us to play how we want to play,” said coach Wayne Burnett.
Wayne was naturally thrilled to see us score four times in a tough game, but he was equally pleased with our defensive display.
“I thought there were some very good performances and overall we probably deserved to win,” he said. “We had a couple of chances in the first half but so did they.
“We spoke at half-time about where the threat may come from and I thought we dealt with it reasonably well. They’ve got some good players, we knew that they were always going to be a threat, they put balls into the box but we defended very well and the pleasing thing for me was, yes, we’ve scored four goals but we’ve kept a clean sheet. The boys kept going and we were rewarded with the third and fourth goals.”
Checkatrade Trophy (Gillingham 0-4 Spurs)
Gillingham: Hadler, O'Neill, Ehmer (c), Tucker, Garmston, Parrett (Reilly 46), Rees, Chapman (Byrne 46), Nasseri, Eaves, List (Hanlan 66). Substitutes (not used): Holy, Huckle, Simpson, Stevenson.
Spurs: Whiteman, Hinds (Duncan 85), Brown, Marsh, Tanganga, Dinzeyi (Binks 83), Maghoma, Bowden, Roles (Bennett 76), Skipp (c), Richards. Substitutes (not used): Austin, Lyons-Foster.
Goals: Spurs - Roles 44, Maghoma 57, Brown 82, Duncan 90+3.
Yellow cards: Gillingham - Chapman 40, Byrne 62, Ehmer 89.
Referee: Antony Coggins.
Venue: The Valley, Charlton.
Weather: Partly cloudy, gentle breeze, 17 degrees.