Where? The People’s Pension Stadium
What? Carabao Cup Round One
When? Tuesday 10 August, 7:30pm
Manager: Steve Evans
Stadium: Priestfield Stadium
Previous league finish: 10th (League One)
Previous Carabao Cup finish: Third Round (1-0 loss to Stoke City)
Gillingham began their 2021/22 league campaign with a 1-1 draw with Lincoln City on home soil. The Gills were pegged behind only four minutes in by a Tayo Edun strike, but went on to compete in the game, posing a threat in the first half before finally finding an equaliser on 44 minutes through new signing, Danny Lloyd. The Gills went on to record six shots on target in the game, but couldn’t find the winner and finished with a point.
Our last four meetings with Gillingham in all competitions have ended in a 2-1 defeat for the Reds, with two of these clashes being at home, and two away.
Our last meeting took place right at the beginning of last season in the Papa John’s Trophy when we made the short trip to Priestfield. It was a tight affair but the hosts found themselves two goals up after 50 minutes, creating a mountain for Crawley to climb. Ricky German set up Nathan Ferguson who pulled one back for Crawley with ten minutes to play, but it was Gillingham who took three points in the group.
Crawley’s last wins against Gillingham came in 2012/2013 when we recorded back-to-back 3-2 victories at The People’s Pension Stadium in both the EFL Trophy and League One.
Last year, the Reds bowed out in the first round after going toe-to-toe with Championship Millwall. The Lions were deemed as favourites before the game but the Reds battled hard to make the game difficult for a side two leagues above them.
Sam Ashford halved a two-goal deficit in the first half after meeting the pass of Dannie Bulman and slotting home calmly on 33 minutes. Crawley pressed again but it was Millwall who scored next through Matt Smith as the score finished 1-3.
The year before we recorded a memorable run which led all the way to the fourth round. After defeating Walsall 2-3 away from home in the first round, we welcomed Premier League Norwich City to The People’s Pension Stadium.
Bez Lubala’s deflected strike gave Crawley the lead after 17 minutes, and the lead was kept right until the final whistle thanks to a game full of resolute defending, keeping the likes of Emi Buendia out, who struck the woodwork in the second-half.
We then welcomed Stoke City in the third round, a side who had just defeated Leeds United away from home in the previous round. Sam Vokes opened the scoring midway through the first half but fifteen minutes later, Nathan Ferguson fired in to level the scores.
Defender Nathan Collins, now of Burnley, was shown red in the second-half as Crawley were unlucky not to find a winner after relentless pressure, meaning penalties were required to separate the sides.
Striker Sam Vokes missed Stoke’s opening penalty as Bez Lubala, David Sesay, Tom Dallison, Ash Nathaniel-George and Ollie Palmer were all able to find the net as the Crawley fans erupted from the stands. Crawley were beaten by a 1-3 scoreline to Colchester United in the fourth round.