Calum Chambers played 45 minutes on his return from injury as our under-21s beat Gillingham on penalties to seal their place in the knockout stages of the Papa John’s Trophy.
The England international has been on the sidelines since rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee against Chelsea back in December, and looked assured on his return to action.
Chambers partnered William Saliba at the heart of the defence, while Emile Smith Rowe also featured at Priestfield Stadium. Meanwhile, the hosts fielded on-loan Gunners Zech Medley and Trae Coyle.
We made a fine start to the game when, with just six minutes on the clock, Catalin Cirjan put us in front after preying on a defensive error.
Folarin Balugun then had a goal disallowed for offside in a lively first half, but after the restart Gillingham equalised through Coyle.
The on-loan Arsenal man was on target again for the home side, only to have his strike chalked off, while Matt Macey had to be alert to deny him again towards the end of the 90 minutes.
With the game deadlocked at the final whistle, both sides received a point and the match went to a shoot-out.
Balogun, Nikolaj Moller and Ben Cottrell all scored from the spot for us, and with the hosts' missing twice, Cirjan secured the victory by slotting home a Panenka.
WHAT IT MEANS
We have booked our place in the knockout stages of the Papa John's Trophy after finishing top of Southern Group B.
Stay close to Arsenal.com for news of our draw for the next round.
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