Galvanised Gillingham to snuff out Brackley threat and avoid upset
Gillingham were moments away from suffering an embarrassing FA Cup first round defeat to Conference North side Brackley Town.
But having survived an almighty scare at home to their non-league counterparts in their first encounter, the Gills are unlikely to be caught again out when they make the return trip to Northamptonshire.
Bradley Dack’s equaliser in the seventh minute of injury time spared Peter Taylor’s team’s blushes at Priestfield after a Joe Martin own goal had given Brackley a shock lead.
And The Saints may have blown their chance of causing a cup upset against a club three rungs above them on the English football ladder.
Manager Taylor has steadied the ship since returning to Kent and overseen a run of only one defeat in their last five matches in all competitions, compared to eight losses in 13 games prior to his arrival.
The fact that the visitors haven’t been priced at shorter odds is partly due to the fact that they’ll be without seven players for this FA Cup Replay.
The Gills’ list of absentees includes the influential pair of Steven Gregory and Danny Kedwell due to injury and a trio of on-loan players (Craig Fagan, Danny Hollands and Elliott Hewitt) who are ineligible.
However, Jon Brady’s side aren’t without problems of their own, with 20-year-old goalkeeper Alistair Worby deputising for the suspended Billy Turley.
Gillingham have scored in eight of their nine previous matches, including twice in their recent victory away at Sheffield United, and with Charlie Lee set to return from a one match ban they could exploit any inexperience shown by their opponent’s back-up custodian.
Brackley have been on the scoresheet in 12 of their previous 15 games so the 5/2 about a Gillingham victory with both teams to score might not be too fanciful.
The Conference North high-flyers will be delighted to have earned a lucrative night out in front of the BT Sport cameras.
But given their opponents’ new found consistency it’s difficult to envisage another FA Cup shock taking place.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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