NEWCASTLE United booked their place in the Capital One Cup’s third round with a 1-0 win over Gillingham tonight.
The tie was decided by a first-half own goal from the unfortunate John Egan.
Former Sunderland player Egan turned a Gabriel Obertan cross past Stephen Bywater at a sold-out Priestfield Stadium.
United manager Alan Pardew – who handed Rolando Aarons and Siem de Jong their full debuts – made six changes from the team which played out a goalless draw against Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.
Winger Obertan, making his first start of the season, wreaked havoc with his pace in the first half.
De Jong had an 11th-minute shot blocked as the game came to life.
Obertan started to make a series of runs up the right flank, and United’s pressure finally told in the 23rd minute when Egan turned in one of his crosses from the byline.
Newcastle took control of the game after the goal, though Gillingham’s Matt Fish wasn’t far away with a long-range effort as the break neared.
Massadio Haidara struck the crossbar from 30 yards early in the second half, and captain Fabricio Coloccini drove a shot from distance into the arms of Bywater shortly after Remy Cabella’s introduction in place of Aarons, who had taken a knock.
Gillingham fought back strongly in the last 20 minutes, and Newcastle had goalkeeper Tim Krul to thank for a couple of timely interventions.
GILLINGHAM: Bywater, Fish, Egan, Hause, Legge, Hessenthaler, Kedwell (Norris, 65), McDonald (German, 65), Pritchard (A Morris, 46), Davies, Dack. Subs not used: G Morris, Dickenson, Hoyte.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Janmaat, S Taylor, Coloccini, Haidara; Sissoko, Abeid; Obertan, de Jong (Perez, 68), Aarons (Cabella, 60); Riviere (Gouffran, 86). Subs not used: Elliot, Dummett, Anita, Ferreyra.
Goals: Egan (og) 23
Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)