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#U21 #EFLTrophy #MatchReport #Gillingham

Gills kill off our Trophy hopes

Gillingham 2-0 Spurs

Tue 12 November 2019, 20:58|Tottenham Hotspur

Gillingham ended our Development Squad's involvement in this season's Trophy on Tuesday night, beating us 2-0 at Priestfield.

Needing a win to have a chance of progressing to the knockout stage from Southern Group A, we were on the back foot for much of the first half and trailed at the break to a goal out of almost nothing from Alex Jakubiak, a blast from coach Wayne Burnett's past after the striker played under him during his time in charge at Dagenham & Redbridge.

We came out after the break showing more attacking intent but striker Rodel Richards - back to lead the line after a couple of weeks out injured - lifted our best chance over with a shot-on-the-turn. At the other end, nobody picked up Jack Tucker at the back post and he made sure of the win for his side with 11 minutes to go.

The result saw the League One club leapfrog us into third place in the group with Ipswich and Colchester going through as the top two clubs.

Our former defender Connor Ogilvie captained the Gills as our young professionals and scholars once again got the chance to test themselves against senior Football League opponents. Luis Binks, a current incumbent of our back line, started against his home town club.

J'Neil Bennett tested Gillingham goalkeeper Joe Walsh in the first couple of minutes while Shilow Tracey just couldn't connect with the winger's cross when sliding in at the back post but the hosts threatened more in the first period, forcing the game to be played largely in our half. They were getting a lot of crosses into our box from the right flank but it was via the left foot of Jakubiak that they took the lead in the 25th minute, the on-loan Watford man dropping deep to collect the ball before shifting it to the side and thrashing a shot across goal and inside the far post from 20 yards - a bolt from the blue.

Tucker might have added a second for Gillingham moments later but saw his back-post header cleared off the line by Brooklyn Lyons-Foster while midfielder Harvey White fired just over from distance in a rare foray forward for us. Henry Woods had two bites of the cherry for the Gills just before half-time as a corner was cleared to him at the edge of the box, but his first shot was charged down and his second flashed dangerously wide.

We improved in the second half but when Richards eventually latched onto Bennett's low ball in from the left after Armando Shashoua hopped out of the way, he turned and fired over the top from eight yards out just beyond the hour mark. Colchester then made the game safe with 11 minutes to go, Tucker heading in Mark Marshall's cross unmarked at the back post. Marshall almost got in on the act himself from outside the area in the 88th minute but Alfie Whiteman made a fine save.

There's a lot of learning that's taken place in this competition over the three games and that's vital for the players' development.

Coach Wayne Burnett

Key moment

Richards found himself with a big chance to score what would have been an equaliser in the 62nd minute. He and Shashoua initially went for the same ball in the box but after the midfielder scampered out of the way, the returning front man suddenly had an opportunity to turn and shoot. Unfortunately, his effort arrowed over the bar and with no clear chances to score after that, despite seeing a lot of the ball, we bowed out of the competition.

Coach's view

Coach Wayne Burnett reflected: "We dominated the ball between both boxes but the game is about boxes and we didn't defend ours well enough and didn't attack theirs well enough. That's the bottom line. They got too many crosses in during the first half, we were better in the second but one of the crosses that they got in was a fantastic one and they scored from it. We dominated the game in the second half but towards the back end of it, they were getting chances because we were pushing forward trying to get a goal. It's disappointing that we're out - there's a lot of learning that's taken place in this competition over the three games and that's vital for the players' development. As long as we can take something from it and the players have improved, that's vital."

Gillingham 2-0 Spurs

Gillingham: Walsh, Hodson, Garmston, Cisse, Tucker, Ogilvie (c), Marshall, Woods (O'Keefe 78), Jakubiak, Ndjoli, Charles-Cook. Substitutes (not used): Bonham, Ehmer, Mandron, Fuller, Lee, Hanlan.

Spurs: Whiteman, Okedina, Lyons-Foster (Pochettino 79), White, Binks, Eyoma (c), Tracey, Oakley-Boothe (Patterson 46), Richards (R Clarke 74), Shashoua, Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Dinzeyi, Hinds, Thorpe.

Match data

Goals: Gillingham - Jakubiak 25, Tucker 79.

Yellow cards: Gillingham - Jakubiak 63; Spurs - White 90+1.

Referee: Craig Hicks.

Venue: Priestfield Stadium.

Weather: Partly cloudy, cold, seven degrees.