Gillingham 1-1 Cheltenham: Town beat Gills to reach round three
Paul Raynor was the man in the dugout for Gillingham for most of the match, with manager Steve Evans opting for a higher view | Photo by Pete Norton - Getty Images

Cheltenham Town beat Gillingham 5-4 on penalties on Tuesday evening to progress to the third round of the EFL Cup.

After Alfie May had cancelled out Vadaine Oliver’s opener, Ellis Chapman scored the winning penalty for Cheltenham after Stuart O’Keefe had missed earlier on for Gillingham.

Story of the match

First half

The game began in tame fashion, but the first chance arrived when Grant Horton headed narrowly past his own post for a Gillingham corner. Vadaine Oliver was then caught on his heels trying to put home a deflected cross from a few yards out, as Gillingham began to get a foothold on the game.

Danny Lloyd netted for Gillingham but was flagged offside, however there was no denying Vadaine Oliver his goal on 20 minutes when the Gills’ top scorer headed home Olly Lee’s deep cross from the right-hand side. Cheltenham ‘keeper Owen Evans got nowhere near it, and Oliver headed home for his second goal of the season.

The visitors were level just minutes later, however. A long ball wasn’t dealt with by the Gillingham defence and George Lloyd and Alfie May combined well. The latter ran through with a clear shot at goal, and slotted past Aaron Chapman for his third goal of the season.

17-year-old Bailey Akehurst came on for his Gillingham home debut for the injured David Totunda just before half time, with both sides struggling for any rhythm.

Second half

Danny Lloyd headed Olly Lee’s free kick over the bar at the start of the second half, before Ellis Chapman fired a rebound well wide.

Akehurst got the better of George Lloyd with the Town forward bearing down on goal, and Ben Tozer’s long throw was starting to cause problems, and Lewis Freestone put a free header straight into the arms of Aaron Chapman as Cheltenham began to push.

The visitors continued to press as Gillingham manager Steve Evans made his way down to the dugout from the stands, but Callum Wright sliced a great chance wide from just yards out.

Cheltenham had a golden chance to win the game in stoppage time when Wright played in Taylor Perry, but the latter scuffed his one-on-one chance to send the game to penalties.

Unfortunately for Gillingham, Stuart O’Keefe was the only man to miss in the penalty shootout, with Ellis Chapman scoring the winning spot kick to ensure a 5-4 win and a place in the third round of the EFL Cup.