Gillingham 0, Norwich City 1
PUBLISHED: 18:00 06 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:34 10 September 2010
Striker Cody McDonald came off the bench to end his goal drought and give Norwich City victory at Gillingham in their Johnstone's Paint Trophy second round tie. McDonald had been on the field less than four minutes in place of Chris Martin when he struck to take the Canaries through to the area quarter-finals.
Gillingham 0, Norwich City 1
Striker Cody McDonald came off the bench to end his goal drought and give Norwich City victory at Gillingham in their Johnstone's Paint Trophy second round tie.
McDonald had been on the field less than four minutes in place of Chris Martin when he struck to take the Canaries through to the area quarter-finals.
His 66th-minute goal was his first since the opening day of the season as manager Paul Lambert's much-changed side moved a step closer to Wembley.
Lambert made eight changes to his starting line-up after the 5-1 win over Bristol Rovers.
There were debuts for 18-year-old full-back George Francomb and summer signing Rhoys Wiggins.
A further six players were recalled with Fraser Forster in goal in place of Declan Rudd, on England Under-19 duty, and Paul McVeigh, Stephen Hughes, Tom Adeyemi, Jamie Cureton and Luke Daley all back in the eleven.
Skipper Grant Holt (shin injury), Michael Spillane (hamstring), Darel Russell (neck), Wes Hoolahan, Adam Drury, Korey Smith and Simon Lappin were all absentees after Saturday's 5-1 win over Bristol Rovers.
City named only four substitutes, with no sign of a goalkeeper - meaning no involvement for Michael Theoklitos. Youngsters David Stephens, Josh Dawkin and Danny Kelly joined striker McDonald on the bench.
Adeyemi fired just wide and had another powerful effort saved as the Canaries carved out the better openings in the opening half
With five minutes gone, Gillingham's Weston fired across goal from Rooney's pass as City waited in vain for the offside flag.
As the Canaries counter-attacked, Martin let fly from long range but his effort was over the top.
Hughes was in trouble and needed attention when he was caught by a late challenge that earned Miller a yellow card, but he was able to continue.
It was an uneventful first quarter of the match, but Adeyemi went close to breaking the deadlock for City after 29 minutes when he burst forward and fired a low right-foot drive just past the post.
Gillingham threatened after 39 minutes when a fine run by Weston set up Rooney, but his shot was deflected wide by a determined Askou.
Martin did superbly along the byline to create an opening for Adeyemi, whose powerful shot was blocked by keeper Julian.
At the other end, Askou made another important block from Weston.
In the final minute of the half, Hughes' centre set up a clear opening but Cureton missed his kick and Martin, following up, shot wide - the best chance of the half.
In first half stoppage time, City had a narrow escape when Doherty appeared to shove Miller over in the penalty area, but referee Cook waved away appeals for a spot-kick.
Martin headed over from McVeigh's free-kick in the final action of the half.
Another McVeigh free-kick three minutes after the break gave Adeyemi a sight of goal but his header was a yard wide.
A Palmer free-kick at the other end reached Barcham at the far post, but he was unable to keep his effort on target.
Cureton lobbed over the top from Martin's flick and looked very disappointed with his attempt, but a high bounce made it a difficult chance.
With less than half an hour to go, City made their first change with McDonald replacing Martin.
The substitution had an almost immediate effect as McDonald opened the scoring after 66 minutes, cutting inside from the left and firing in a right-foot shot that took a slight deflection on its way past Julian.
Stephens was given his senior debut with 20 minutes left when he replaced Doherty, Cureton taking the captain's armband.
Substitute Lewis had a chance for Gillingham but his shot struck team-mate Barcham.
Dawkin was sent on for his senior debut with 12 minutes left, replacing McVeigh as City's final change.
Miller produced Gillingham's best effort of the night with seven minutes left when his right-foot shot flew wide, but he was then substituted.
Weston created space to shoot but wasted the chance as the seconds ticked away.
Palmer went agonisingly close for Gillingham with a stoppage-time free-kick but that was their final chance.
Gillingham: Julian; Palmer, Richards, Bentley, Nutter; Rooney, Payne (Lewis, 64 min), Weston, Miller (Erskine, 83 min), Barcham; McCammon (Yussuff, 64 min). Subs (not used): Maher, Wynter.
Norwich City: Forster; Francomb, Doherty (Stephens, 70 min), Askou, Wiggins; Daley, Adeyemi, Hughes, McVeigh (Dawkin, 78 min); Cureton, Martin (McDonald, 62 min). Sub (not used): Kelly.
Referee: Steven Cook.
Goal: City - McDonald (66 min).
Bookings: Gillingham - Miller (13 min), Nutter (45 min), Weston (62 min). City - Francomb (77 min).