Report: Late double sends Gillingham to Wimbledon

Mikael Mandron and Jordan Green scored late goals to send Gillingham through to the second round of the Carabao Cup.

Gillingham missed a golden first chance, saw a penalty appeal dismissed and a goal ruled out, but in the last minute Mandron scored the opener and Green doubled the lead in stoppage time.

Mikael Mandron had a goal ruled out before scoring in the last minute at Wimbledon

Harris shuffled his side for the cut as much as he could with limited options. Five changes have been made to the side that beat Rochdale in the league this weekend.

The Gills were back at Plow Lane for the second time in nine days, having started their season with a disappointing 1-0 loss. The Dons included some of the key men in this performance, including midfield kingpin Paris Maghoma.

Neil Harris has not only changed personnel, but also his formation, choosing to adapt to the configuration of the visitors’ full-backs. Former Dons defender Cheye Alexander and David Tutonda came on to play on the flanks for Gills.

Gillingham had a great chance to take the lead but after that the hosts took charge of the first half. Striker Lewis Walker – who was on trial with Wimbledon before the season – launched a wide shot with just the keeper to beat after Shaun Williams played him with a fantastic ball forward.

It was the best moment of the half for the Gills. From then on, Wimbledon gained confidence, testing Jake Turner who was making his competitive debut for the visitors.

Turner comfortably handled a low shot from George Marsh, but moments later knocked down a powerful effort from Will Nightingale and was grateful to see the ball drop just short of waiting striker Nathan Young-Coombes.

Stopper Gills had to save Kyle Hudlin with his feet after Dons burst through Ayoub Assal after catching Alex MacDonald in possession at the halfway line. Turner also had to be in the right place to deny Young-Coombes as he deflected a cross towards goal.

There were no changes at the break for the Gills and Nightingale headed a narrow first corner for the hosts.

With an hour passed and Jordan Green off the bench, Gillingham began to turn things around.

The Gills should have been awarded a penalty when David Tutonda was stumbled into the box by Isaac Ogundere, but referee Craig Hicks didn’t think so, much to the disbelief of the visitors’ bench.

Will Wright then came close with a free kick that Nathan Broome had to deflect thoroughly.

At the start of the match, there were also a few incidents to keep the referee busy. One involved substitute Ben Reeves, moments after his arrival. He was cautioned for a challenge as the home crowd called for a red.

Paul Kalambayi fired a close-range shot over the bar before the hosts had their own penalty cry when Assal went down under pressure from Alexander.

Gillingham thought he had taken the lead from Wright’s free-kick in the 77th minute, the ball played inside the penalty area and fell for Mikael Mandron who cornered it in the net. Gills’ celebrations came to naught as the linesman spotted a foul on the keeper and the referee awarded the free kick.

Turner saved a Jack Currie header five minutes from time and Josh Davison put a big chance for the hosts as penalties loomed.

The tie was settled late when Gillingham’s substitutes struck. Mandron opened the scoring from the edge of the box in the 90th minute before Green headed in on goal and fired a second from close range to claim the win.

Wibledon: Broome, Nightingale, Kalambayi, Gunter, Ogundere (Fisher 80 mins), Currie, Marsh (Bartley 90 mins), Maghoma, Assal, Young-Coombes (Chislett 66 mins), Hudlin (Davison 66 mins). Replacements: Tzanev, Sutcliffe, Adjei-Hersey, Bendle, Cosgrave.

Gillingham: Turner, Alexander, Tutonda (Law 84min), Wright, Ehmer, Baggott, Williams (Reeves 66min), Lee, MacDonald (Green 56min), Kashket (Mandron 66min), Walker. Replacements: Morris, Akehurst, Gbode.

Presence: 3008 (325 away)

Report: Late double sends Gillingham to Wimbledon

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