Gillingham players celebrate
Gills topple Wednesday
Wednesday, 08 January 2003.
Gillingham survived an early scare to cruise into the fourth round of The FA Cup and set up a home tie against Leeds United.
The FA Cup Third Round
Tuesday 7th January 2003
Sheffield Wednesday 1
King 2 (1 pen)
Gillingham came back from conceding an early goal to topple Sheffield Wednesday and set up another visit from Yorkshire in the fourth round of The FA Cup as Leeds United go to Kent.
A six-minute brace, including one penalty, from Marlon King put the home side in charge on 18 minutes following Gerald Sibon's opener for Wednesday after only four minutes. King's strike-partner Guy Ipoua added the third given Andy Hessenthaler's side a commanding half-time lead.
King missed his hat-trick chance from a second penalty after the break, but Chris Hope put the game beyond Chris Turner's men with a towering header to make it 4-1 with 15 minutes left.
Gills player-manager Hessenthaler is now relishing the prospect of facing Terry Venables' Leeds in the next round: "Playing Leeds at home is great news financially for the club.
"We'll try and not talk about it too much until it comes along because we have got two important league games at Derby on Saturday and then at home to Leicester the week after.
Hessenthaler suggested the poor state of the Priestfield pitch - which has seen a string of recent matches postponed - could give the Gills a chance against the Premiership side.
"The form book goes out of the window in The FA Cup. The pitch will be tricky and it's not going to get any better,'' he said.
"It could prove a big leveller. It's a bit dead and needs to be ripped up at the end of the season. We want to play football and I'm sure Leeds will."
Hessenthaler was impressed with King's performance - although he was disappointed to see the striker miss out on his hat-trick when he missed his second penalty of the night.
He added: "I think Marlon King is coming back to his best. If there were scouts watching him tonight they would have been very impressed and I'm only disappointed he didn't get his hat-trick because he deserved it.
"That was the first penalty miss since he's been at the club."
Gillingham: Brown, Southall, Ashby, Hope, Nosworthy, Hessenthaler (Spiller 80), Smith, Saunders, Shaw, King, Ipoua (Sidibe 77).
Subs Not Used: Bartram, Leon Johnson, Perpetuini.
Sheffield Wednesday: Stringer, Westwood, Crane, Bromby, Beswetherick, Quinn, Haslam, Soltvedt, Morrison (Knight 60), Sibon (Jon Shaw 75), Kuqi.
Subs Not Used: Evans, Maddix, Matthew Shaw.
Referee: P Taylor.