Gillingham manager Martin Allen takes delight from a 1-0 win over Southend United in League 2
Gillingham boss Martin Allen was delighted to see his team show
their class again.
A New Year’s Day win over Southend came a week after their
Boxing Day defeat to Barnet and put the Gills back at the top of
the pile in League 2.
“The team were back to their best, there is
no doubt about that,” said Allen, pictured.
“It certainly helps when you can call upon
a centre-back (Leon Legge) who we have just signed (from
Brentford)and put into the team. He was immense, as was the whole
team. Everyone was fantastic.”
The Gills took a third-minute lead through
Chris Whelpdale and could have extended their advantage during
a one-sided first half. But Southend came back fighting after the
Allen said: “There was always going to be
some part of the second half where Southend would come back into
it. They have (previously) only lost one in 13 and they have got a
lot of dangerous forward players and in the end they were playing
with five centre forwards.
“They did have one chance at the end, which
was luckily put over the bar, but we also had several in the first
half and on the counter-attack in the second we hit the inside of
the post, which would have tucked it away at 2-0.
“All the players put in a tremendous
performance for what is a local derby, just across the river, and
it is a great day for all our travelling supporters, especially
after the knock-back of that Boxing Day game.”
The Gills had been knocked off top spot over Christmas by Port
Vale but the leaders lost on New Year's Day to Fleetwood, allowing
Allen's men to reclaim their place as League 2 pacesetters.
Making his debut for the Gills at Southend
was central defender Legge, who has signed a two-and-a-half
year deal. He was delighted with his first outing.
He said: “I thought we played well and the
lads have taken to me really well. Second half we defended well and
I can’t really remember Stuart Nelson (Gills goalkeeper) doing too
much and when they came at us we batted them away.”
Allen also revealed post-match that the
loan deal for Romain Vincelot has not been extended. The
Southend game would have been the Frenchman's last of his
loan spell from Brighton but he missed out with a knee
What did you make of Gillingham's performance at
Southend? Comment below.
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