Kelechi Iheanacho prolonged his positive FA Cup file by firing Leicester into the fourth spherical with the second-half winner in a 1-0 victory at Sky Bet League Two strugglers Gillingham.
Striker Iheanacho claimed his sixteenth profession aim within the competitors because the 2021 winners prevented a serious upset on the expense of the membership languishing on the backside of the English Football League.
Gillingham, watched by new proprietor Brad Galinson, put aside their depressing league marketing campaign to offer a stern for Premier League opposition at MEMS Priestfield however by no means actually seemed like pulling off a shock.
Dom Jefferies went closest for Neil Harris’ hosts, whereas Gills goalkeeper Jake Turner ensured a nervy end for the Foxes with a string of spectacular saves to maintain the sport within the stability.
Leicester arrived in Kent on the again of three successive top-flight defeats, able to tackle a beleaguered staff sitting 79 locations beneath them within the soccer pyramid.
Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers made eight adjustments for the tie and watched his facet dominate a decent opening interval however battle to interrupt down dogged hosts in blustery situations.
Jamie Vardy, one of many three males retained, was restricted to simply eight first-half touches and left pissed off after being denied a sixth-minute opener by Gills keeper Turner following a positive cross from Marc Albrighton.
Gillingham have gone 12 league video games with out a win, courting again to October 1, in a dismal 2022-23 season which has introduced solely seven objectives.
The membership’s largest attendance of the season enthusiastically welcomed a brand new daybreak forward of kick-off as American businessman Galinson was launched on the pitch following his latest takeover.
Midfielder Jefferies threatened simply after Vardy’s probability, forcing Foxes keeper Daniel Iversen to parry his highly effective low drive throughout an encouraging first 45 minutes for the Gills.
Iheanacho later curled narrowly large on the different finish, whereas Turner was alert to tip over Albrighton’s dipping effort simply after the restart.
Gillingham’s resistance was finally damaged 11 minutes into the second interval.
Youri Tielemans’ cross from the appropriate was turned again throughout aim by Kasey McAteer and, following a contact from Vardy, the unmarked Iheanacho lashed house solely his second aim of the season.
Vardy nearly doubled the guests’ lead after racing clear however a robust hand from Turner pushed the ball round his left publish.
Leicester had quite a few promising openings to seal development, with Iheanacho and Vardy every squandering alternatives to mix.
Yet the Gills, who defeated non-league sides AFC Fylde and Dagenham & Redbridge to achieve this stage, remained hopeful going into 5 minutes of added time.
The Foxes stood robust throughout the extra interval to place their title within the hat for the following spherical and can swiftly flip their consideration to Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup quarter-final at Newcastle.
Gillingham, in the meantime, resume their survival mission at house to Hartlepool subsequent weekend, sitting 5 factors from security.