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Gillingham boss Martin Allen takes delight from the way his side defended in the latter stages against Dagenham

By Luke Cawdell

Martin Allen

Gills boss Martin Allen gets his message across          Picture: Barry Goodwin

Martin Allen hailed his side’s defensive qualities after they dug deep late on to clinch maximum points at Priestfield.

The win came thanks to goals from Leon Legge and Deon Burton – from the penalty spot – either side of a good finish from Dagenham’s Femi Ilesanmi.

“It was defending at its best,” said Gills manager Allen.

“The defenders defended valiantly. Everyone to a man stood firm, stood their ground and reduced them to very few chances.

“They showed great character when they got the equaliser we all knew what could happen, everyone in the ground knew, but our players responded very well, stepped up another gear and the substitutions worked really well for us.

“We got the goal and we did, what you could call parking the bus, shutting up shop, but the players kept going right to the very end, especially the substitutes, who came on and really helped the team.”

A switch with 20 minutes to go saw the Gills go more defensive, as striker Cody McDonald was swapped for defensive-midfielder Steven Gregory.

Allen said: “While it might not have been the best match to watch, we defended, which is part of football and I thought we defended fantastically, through what was a difficult spell, against some good players and a team who have shown a bit of top form recently. It was a good day all round.

“I was delighted for Steven Gregory to come on and play so well, in the holding midfield role and then young Bradley Dack, who has been out on loan. I was pleased to see him get out on the pitch. It has been a long time since he has been with us.

“To hear the noise of the stadium, the atmosphere, the singing and for the supporters to go home happy is for me, personally, is magic.”

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