A hard fought performance by Gillingham wasn’t enough as they fell to defeat to Premier League side West Ham United in the FA Cup last night.
The Gills dominated the first half with West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski making a handful of saves in the third round tie at Priestfield.
— Kent Pro Images (@KentProImages) January 6, 2020
The second half started with two excellent chances for West Ham’s 45 million pound striker Sebastian Haller, but he could finish neither of them with one hitting the inside of the crossbar.
However the visitors eventually showed their quality with Pablo Zabaleta scoring his first ever goal for West Ham in the 74th minute of the match, followed by Pablo Fornals, who put the ball in the net with seconds left on the clock.
On the club website Gills manager Steve Evans said: “My concern at half-time was that we hadn’t scored, because we had so much dominance, so many entries into the box, so many free kicks and corners not executed as we’d like them to be, and that cost us really.
“I just said to the players, take the hurt and take the pain, and it is hurt and pain because I think we know it is a missed opportunity, and at the same time we’ll wish West Ham every success.
“I think it shows you the potential at Gillingham Football Club, whether it’s at Priestfield, or a new stadium. It shows you the potential we have. There’s a lot of clubs who’d have played West Ham tonight who would have had nowhere near not only the numbers, but the atmosphere created.”
— Gillingham FC (@TheGillsFC) January 5, 2020
Speaking to BBC Sport after the game, West Ham manager David Moyes said: “We’re really thrilled. These games have caused us difficulty over the years and Gillingham nearly did that again – they were really good, really competitive, hard to play against but we had a bit of quality.
“At half-time, I was more disappointed that we had not tried to play enough and not got the ball down enough. The defenders were slashing at clearances and did not show enough composure but it was always going to be this type of game.
“Great credit to the players – they stuck at it and showed great resilience.
“I thought Steve’s team did very well and they will think they were a bit unlucky but I thought we could score again on the break.”
Bonham, Fuller (Ndjoli 85), Ehmer, Tucker, Ogilvie, O’Connor (Marshall 79), Jones, O’Keefe, Lee, Hanlan, Jakubiak (Charles-Cook 79)
Fabianski, Fredericks (Zabaleta 42), Balbuena, Ogbonna, Diop, Masuaku, Rice, Lanzini, Snodgrass (Fornals 69), Anderson (Sanchez 94), Haller