Gillingham 0-1 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Tuesday, 5th Oct 2021 19:54
Joe Pigott’s third goal of the season has given the Blues a 1-0 half-time lead in their Papa John’s Trophy tie at Gillingham.
Town boss Paul Cook made 11 changes from the team which was beaten 2-1 at Accrington on Saturday, starting seven players who were in the squad last season.
Former Gill Tomas Holy was in goal with Kane Vincent-Young at right-back and Myles Kenlock making his first competitive start at any level this season at left-back. Toto Nsiala skippered alongside Luke Woolfenden at the centre of the defence.
Rekeem Harper and Idris El Mizouni were the central midfielders with Kyle Edwards on the left, Kayden Jackson on the right and Conor Chaplin the number 10. Pigott was the lone striker.
Youngsters Albie Armin, Cameron Humpreys and Zanda Siziba were among the subs along with 21-year-old recent Australian signing Tete Yengi, a forward, who only made his first start for the U23s yesterday.
Sone Aluko was a conspicuous absentee from the players who have been on the fringes with the Nigerian international believed to have picked up a knock.
For Gillingham, one-time Town academy youngster Stuart O’Keefe captained a side featuring seven changes from the team which lost 2-0 at home to Wigan on Saturday. The Gills named only six subs.
Ahead of kick-off both teams, aside from Nsiala, took a knee to applause from the very sparse crowd.
Rain started to fall heavily as the Blues dominated the ball in the early stages and threatened for the first time in the ninth minute when, following a long spell of possession, Vincent-Young played a low ball from the right to Pigott on the edge of the box from where the one-time Gills loanee hit a first-time effort just over the bar.
On 11 Pigott fed in Jackson, who had swapped flanks with Edwards but soon switched back again, but the former Accrington man ran into trouble. At the other end, O’Keefe hit the home side’s first shot over following an error by Harper.
Town continued to dominate, keeping possession for spells and throwing in the occasional long ball for Pigott, Jackson or Edwards to chase, and in the 17th minute Chaplin turned a Vincent-Young cross from the right well wide.
Three minutes later, Harper sent Vincent-Young away down the right with Chaplin in space in the middle but the cross was far too strong for the former Barnsley and Portsmouth man.
The game continued in the same pattern and might have done better in the 27th minute when Vincent-Young fed in Jackson breaking behind him and the forward crossed low but behind Chaplin. The ball fell to Pigott and the striker eventually managed to get in a shot on the turn but over the bar.
Two minutes later, Edwards tricked his way past Jack Tucker on the byline and ended up on the ground. The ex-West Brom man looked to have been fouled but referee Trevor Kettle wasn’t interested and Town’s protests were surprisingly muted.
After Nsiala and Vincent-Young had blocked Charlie Kelman shots just inside the Town box, the Blues broke quickly down the right. Jackson crossed and it fell to Pigott, whose shot was blocked by a defender, then the loose ball hit him and ran to Gills keeper Aaron Chapman.
Chaplin shot wide from the edge of the box in the 33rd minute with the Blues maintaining their dominance but still without finding the net.
The Gills began to show more as half-time approached and on 40 Kelman struck a 25-yard shot which Holy let through his fingers and over.
But in the 43rd minute the Blues finally took the lead. Jackson was played in by Chaplin on the right and sent over a perfectly-weighted low cross which Pigott slammed into the roof of the net from the edge of the six-yard box.
The Blues deserved their lead at the break having been well on top during an entertaining first 45 minutes.
The only thing that had been missing was the goal with Pigott taking the chance just before half-time confidently after Chaplin and Jackson had done well on the right.
Gillingham: Chapman, O'Keefe (c), Ehmer, Tucker, Kelman, Lee, Reeves, McKenzie, Akinde, Bennett, Akehurst. Subs: Cumming, Tutonda, Adshead, Lloyd, Sithole, Lintott.
Town: Holy, Vincent-Young, Woolfenden, Nsiala (c), Kenlock, Harper, El Mizouni, Jackson, Chaplin, Edwards, Pigott. Subs: Hladky, Armin, Humphreys, Siziba, Barry, Norwood, Yengi. Referee: Trevor Kettle (Rutland).
Photo: Matchday Images
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