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Gillingham's battling point at Accrington bodes well for forthcoming away tests says manager Martin Allen

Turning in committed performances on long trips to inhospitable footballing outposts will be key in maintaining Gillingham’s push for promotion, according to manager Martin Allen.

The Gills saw their advantage at the top of League 2 cut to two points on Saturday after their first-half lead at Accrington was cancelled out 20 minutes from time by a penalty, conceded by keeper Stuart Nelson, who was sent off.

With a freezing wind and horizontal rain whipping through the Crown Ground, the hosts pushed Gills back as the clock ran down. But Allen’s players stuck together and produced a stoic defence of the point.

Allen, pictured, admitted: "Coming to the likes of Accrington is always difficult, there’s no doubt about it, let’s not kid ourselves. It’s a good point for us.

"One thing I asked of the players was that they had the commitment; they would compete, be passionate and face up to the wind and the rain."

Allen thought the performance showed character and said: "We had a couple of young players out there.

"The wind and the rain got worse as the game went on, especially in the second half.

"It was blowing right across the pitch, the ball was going about all over the place and it was hard to get it down and play football, but this is what it’s like and it’s what you have to do."

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