City could have been forgiven for thinking they had their league opponents the wrong way round the past week, as Cheltenham decided to impersonate the gamesmanship of Wycombe at their mid-2010s worst in securing a 1-0 win at the Park on Saturday as a modicum of revenge for the 7-0 hammering City dished out in the EFL Cup first round. Attention turns to the second round on Tuesday night where City will hope for a repeat of the result when they, as a League Two side, visited then League One Gillingham in the FA Cup in 2020/21. The sides have now swapped places meaning City will be the “giants” that Gillingham will hope to kill. Matt Taylor made several changes to the starting line-up for the Cheltenham match and may refresh things again in Kent. The continued lack of signings meant Taylor was only able to name six substitutes against Cheltenham, exposing a worrying lack of depth in the squad with a number of players now out on loan.
Perhaps one of the more surprising names to go down last season, Gillingham’s hopes of making an immediate return to the third tier have suffered a slow start with a win, a draw and three defeats from their opening five fixtures, while they won an all-League Two tie in the first round by beating fellow relegated side AFC Wimbledon 2-0. Worryingly also for Neil Harris’ Gills they have failed to score in their last three matches. A lot of their hopes will be pinned on Scott Kashket, the former Wycombe striker is the scorer of their only league goal so far having signed for Gillingham after an unsuccessful season at Crewe. Veteran keeper Glenn Morris is another summer signing on loan from Crawley.
The aforementioned FA Cup tie was the last time the sides met, and City came away victorious 3-2 to set up a third round tie against Sheffield Wednesday. Vadaine Oliver gave the hosts the lead before Nicky Law and a Joel Randall brace saw City lead 3-1 at the break. A late Dominic Samuel strike set up a grandstand finish but City held on. Older City supporters may remember the only previous League Cup encounter between the sides, which saw City win 2-0 at the Park in the 1964/65 season.
Match officials for this game:-
Referee: Carl Brook
Assistant Referees: Daniel Cook and Nicholas Cooper
Fourth Official : Craig Hicks
We last saw Carl Brook in charge of an Exeter game in April, when Exeter beat Rochdale 2-0 at the Park.