Sunderland are out of the FA Cup at the first round stage for the first ever time in their history. They lost the first round replay 1-0 to Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium after extra time, with a Brandon Hanlan strike in the 105th minute enough to make sure that Sunderland crash out of the competition.
Gillingham now progress to the second round of the FA Cup, where they will face Doncaster Rovers at the Priestfield, while Sunderland have the advantage of an extra weekend off before they face Gillingham again away from home.
Phil Parkinson made five changes to the side that lost 3-0 against Scunthorpe United in the final game of their Leasing.com Trophy campaign last Tuesday. After missing out last week with an illness, Will Grigg led the line. Brandon Taylor was the only one of the under-23’s to start the game and partnered Alim Ozturk and Laurens de Bock in the centre of defence, with Luke O’Nien and Denver Hume being pushed further forward.
First Half Action
Laurens de Bock had an early chance to open the scoring when his header from Chris Maguire’s cross was nodded just over the Gillingham bar.
Max Power came the closest in the first few stages of the opening 45, when his attempt had to be snatched away from danger by the Gillingham goalkeeper, Jack Bonham.
Gillingham had barely had a sniff in the first 20 minutes at the Priestfield, but Brandon Hanlan’s header from Barry Fuller’s cross was just directed wide of the post.
Just before the half time interval, Gillingham’s Max Ehmer was shown a yellow card for a tug on the shirt of Will Grigg, moments before he was able to break away for the Black Cats.
After an additional two minutes the dull first half ended, with both sides needing a goal, otherwise the match would head to extra time and maybe then penalties.
Second Half Action
Just after the half time interval, Laurens de Bock was the first Sunderland player to go into the referee’s book after halting Gillingham from taking a quick free-kick.
With 64 minutes on the clock, Phil Parkinson made his first change to spark some life into his unimaginative FA Cup replay, by bringing on Aiden McGeady in the place of Duncan Watmore. Sunderland conjured up the first main opportunity of the match when Will Grigg was fed the ball inside of the D, and his shot was arrowed just wide of the left post of Jack Bonham’s goal.
Luke O’Nien was shown a yellow card with less than five minutes of the match remaining when he fouled Ogilivie, therefore meaning that if Sunderland were to progress to the second round, he would miss that game after accumulating two yellows.
Extra Time Action
At the very start of the 30-minute period of extra time, Phil Parkinson made his second change and gave his defence some extra legs. Alim Ozturk, who had just returned to the side from injury, was replaced with Jack Bainbridge.
Gillingham had the better of the chances at the start of the first 15-minute period of extra time. From a corner swung in by Oliver Lee, Brandon Hanlan nodded the ball over the Sunderland crossbar.
The home fans in the Priestfield Stadium erupted alongside Gills manager, Steve Evans, as they thought that they should have had a penalty. A mis-kick from Brandon Taylor led to the ball striking his arm and then bounced back to Lee Burge. The referee - Alan Young - pondered the appeal seriously, but gave nothing.
From the unlikeliest source, Gillingham defender Max Ehmer came the closest to breaking the deadlock when his thunderous effort rocketed off the crossbar.
Just moments after that, Gillingham did indeed took the lead through the game’s first shot on target. Oliver Lee touched the ball to Brandon Hanlan, who made his way into the penalty area on the right-hand side, and a right-footed shot from Hanlan snuck under Lee Burge.
At the start of the second period of extra time, Phil Parkinson made his third change in attempt to turn the game around when Dylan McGeouch came on for the Black Cats for Denver Hume - and shortly after the start of the second half he was able to make a fourth substitution due to the competition’s rules, so Lee Connelly replaced Will Grigg up top.
After an extra two minutes, the match ended Gillingham FC 1-0 Sunderland AFC - meaning that Sunderland would exit the FA Cup at the first round stage for the first time in their history.