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Gillingham manager Steve Lovell reacts to their 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic

By Luke Cawdell

Three points were all that mattered for Gills boss Steve Lovell after an historic day at The Valley.

Gillingham had not beaten Charlton in their own backyard from 15 previous visits – their first coming back in 1921 - but that long run was finally broken on New Year’s Day.

History, however, wasn’t of concern to Lovell.

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Gillingham manager Steve Lovell Picture: Andy Jones
Gillingham manager Steve Lovell Picture: Andy Jones

“I was a very proud man,” said the Gills manager after a 2-1 win.

“It was a great result, a great performance, backs against the wall second half, but we knew that.

“The work we did first half was enough to win the game. I am very proud of the boys and very pleased.

“(The history) doesn’t bother me. It is nice to know but it’s about the three points, whether we have won every time at Charlton or the first one, it’s on the day that counts.

“To win it the way we did, with backs against the wall in the second half, we defended well and all the hard work was done in the first half; that is what won us the game.”

Lovell was well prepared for the match and that paid off.

Gillingham went ahead after just 11 minutes and doubled it before the break before coming up against a fired up Charlton after the turnaround.

Harry Lennon gets a booking after this foul on Gills' Mark Byrne Picture: Andy Jones
Harry Lennon gets a booking after this foul on Gills' Mark Byrne Picture: Andy Jones

He said: “I watched them the last two or three games at home, the Blackpool game particularly, where the two full-backs were looking to bomb on and that leaves space. We worked on that.

“Whenever they are in possession going forward, we looked to get into those little holes between the centre halves and the wide areas. That’s how we got our goals.

Josh Parker in action against Charlton Picture: Andy Jones
Josh Parker in action against Charlton Picture: Andy Jones

“I could have played Conor Wilkinson (up front) but I wanted to play Tom Eaves and Josh Parker because they can run, they are runners.

“We were looking to exploit them and it couldn’t have worked any better first half, when we got the two goals. Tom missed one early on but he made up for it.”

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