EFL Trophy
Bristol City1Gillingham1

Bristol City 1-1 Gillingham (5-3 agg)

Matt Smith
Matt Smith (left) has now scored seven goals in three games against Gillingham this season

Bristol City progressed to the Football League Trophy final for the fifth time in their history with a 5-3 aggregate win over Gillingham.

City looked well on their way to their first trip to Wembley since 2008 after taking a 4-2 lead from the first leg.

They could only draw with their League One rivals - Gills winger Jermaine McGlashan cancelling out Matt Smith's opener - but it saw them through.

The Robins will now face Walsall in the final on Sunday 22 March.

Gillingham, currently under the caretaker charge of Andy Hessenthaler and his three-man coaching team, had already lost to City three times this season in all competitions and sit 23 points behind them in the league.

The Gills put in a spirited performance in this southern area final second leg at Ashton Gate, but failed to overturn that two-goal deficit and must wait at least another year for their first Football League Trophy final.

They made the worst possible start to proceedings as Smith, who scored all four goals in the first leg, popped up yet again to put City ahead.

Goal hero misses the final
Matt Smith will not be available for the final as his loan spell from Fulham will have expired by then and cannot be extended, although he has been invited to travel to Wembley with the Bristol City squad

The on-loan Fulham striker headed home the rebound after his initial headed effort had hit the bar, to notch his seventh goal in three games against the Kent side.

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Smith 'gutted' to miss Wembley final

The visitors eventually found their stride and Bradley Dack lofted a perfectly weighted ball for McGlashan to slot home, to bring them level on the night before half time.

City keeper Frank Fielding was forced to make two acrobatic saves as Gillingham pushed forward, first denying Doug Loft's powerful shot and then McGlashan's curling ball from the left after the break.

Smith saw a close-range effort go narrowly wide and he went on to collide heavily with the post, before Jay Emmanuel-Thomas's audacious inswinging ball almost beat keeper Stuart Nelson.

Nelson was on hand to deny Korey Smith and substitute Kieran Agard late on, and Steve Cotterill's side saw out six minutes of stoppage time to book their place at Wembley.

Line-ups

Bristol City

  • 1Fielding
  • 22AylingBooked at 54mins
  • 4Flint
  • 3Williams
  • 24TavernierSubstituted forElliottat 69'minutes
  • 7Smith
  • 21Pack
  • 15FreemanBooked at 44minsSubstituted forWagstaffat 90'minutes
  • 17Cunningham
  • 10Emmanuel-Thomas
  • 9SmithSubstituted forAgardat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Elliott
  • 11Wagstaff
  • 13Richards
  • 19Agard
  • 23Bryan

Gillingham

  • 1Nelson
  • 31HoyteBooked at 70mins
  • 4EganBooked at 80mins
  • 5Ehmer
  • 3MartinSubstituted forDickensonat 74'minutes
  • 7LoftSubstituted forGarmstonat 87'minutes
  • 8Hessenthaler
  • 23Dack
  • 18Pritchard
  • 11McGlashanSubstituted forNorrisat 83'minutes
  • 10McDonald

Substitutes

  • 2Garmston
  • 6Legge
  • 12Morris
  • 19Norris
  • 24Dickenson
Referee:
Graham Scott
Attendance:
8,469

Match Stats

Home TeamBristol CityAway TeamGillingham
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home15
Away14
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home5
Away14

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