A late penalty was all that divided Gillingham and Plymouth Argyle Under-18s in this FA Youth Cup second-round game at Priestfield Stadium last night as the Gills won 1-0, writes Mike Sampson.
Both teams went on the attack from the first whistle as the tie began in a very open fashion.
Will Jenkins-Davies was constantly probing the Gills defence while skipper Oscar Halls made a terrific block to deny the home side an opening goal.
Argyle replied by forcing consecutive corners before a great save from Zak Baker and Halls’ intervention from the follow-up kept the scoreline blank.
The visitors hit back with a great solo run down the right wing by Freddie Issaka as the young Pilgrims came more into the contest.
Striker Joe Hatch slipped at the vital moment and a good chance went begging as the Greens finished the half on the attack.
Argyle had a good start to the second period with Halls going close before Issaka’s excellent through ball saw the Gills’ goalkeeper just beat Hatch to the ball.
Jenkins-Davies tried his luck from distance but the ball flew just wide of the home goal.
Disaster struck the Pilgrims as Gillingham converted a 78th minute penalty to take the lead.
Argyle surged forward in an effort to save the tie with manager Darren Way playing his final hand with a double substitution.
Jack Endacott saw his effort deflected wide for a corner but that was to be the closest that they came to an equaliser and it is Gillingham who will now entertain Wigan in round three.
Plymouth Argyle: Zak Baker, Jack Matthews, Cole Gibbings, Cole Fisher (Finley Wilkes 67), Oscar Halls (c), Caleb Roberts, Freddie Issaka, Will Jenkins-Davies, Keiran Edworthy (Henry Donovan 80), Joe Hatch (Lewis Colwell 80), Jack Endacott. Substitutes not used: James Morley (gk) , Jensen Ireland, Joel Sullivan.