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Tom Eaves came off the bench for Gillingham on Saturday to replace Greg Cundle

By Luke Cawdell

Tom Eaves helped change the game on Saturday.

It was the kind of impact manager Steve Lovell was hoping for.

Tom Eaves rues a chance that goes just wide Picture: Andy Jones

He said: “Tom needed a break and sometimes it can give someone a kick up the backside.

“That was probably the best 40 minutes he has played for us this year, it has done the job. He will have a big part to play on Monday now (against Charlton).

“You have to manage the situation and manage players. I thought he did very well when he came on.”

Leading scorer Eaves had been left out of the starting eleven as 20-year-old Greg Cundle made his first Football League start.

Tom Eaves in the thick of it on Saturday Picture: Andy Jones

He played behind the front two against Wimbledon before being replaced by Eaves on 52 minutes.

“I thought he did alright,” said Lovell.

“It is hard for him, coming in for his first (start).

“He will get better the more games he plays, but it is a big thing for him, he deserves it.

Greg Cundle on the ball for Gillingham Picture: Andy Jones

“He has waited and worked hard and I like giving people a chance who are really true professionals. He will be involved again on Monday (against Charlton) and go again.”

Cundle’s seven previous league appearances have all come off the bench, with starts in the Checkatrade Trophy and a first senior Gills goal back in November against Reading.

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