Home   Medway   Sport   Article

Doncaster Rovers 0 Gillingham 1: Reaction from Gills boss Neil Harris as Charlie Kelman scores winner in League 1 relegation battle

Gillingham were hanging on at the end against Doncaster but boss Neil Harris insists he was feeling calm on the sideline.

It was a fourth win in nine games for Harris as his adopted team continue to push towards safety - it’s the kind of form that over the course of a season would have left the Gills challenging for the play-offs. Gillingham had only won three games in their previous 28 before the former Millwall boss was appointed.

Gillingham manager Neil Harris has seen his side pick up a fourth win since taking charge Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham manager Neil Harris has seen his side pick up a fourth win since taking charge Picture: Barry Goodwin

The play-offs are not to be for the Gills unfortunately but a 1-0 win at Doncaster leaves them level on points with the team outside of the relegation zone. It's big progress for a team who not long ago were being written off as League 2-bound.

Speaking after their latest positive outing, Harris said: “With only one goal in it, with so much at stake, you do fear that they may score a goal but there was a shot across the box that was never going in really, Pontus (Dahlberg, the goalkeeper) makes one good save and I actually thought we were more likely to score the second goal, from a counter-attack or a set-play.

“I was quite calm to be honest, I trusted my team and we didn’t have a lot of options on my bench to change the team or effect the game, the players on the pitch at the end were players I thought I could rely on shape wise and I felt relatively comfortable.

“I can control it with my subs and with my (team’s) shape but sometimes when you have very, very limited options, there is not a lot going through your mind.”

Charlie Kelman scored the only goal of the game, in the first minute.

It was a hard-working effort from the Gills, backs against the wall at times, but they were defensively sound and picked up a fifth clean sheet in Harris’ short time in charge.

Harris, down to 15 senior players at the weekend, said: “I would like us to be better and to have got a second and third goal and for us to have been more productive, of course I would, but personnel sometimes dictate.

“We did have chances, we could have scored again and Vadaine (Oliver) is disappointed with two headers, one was blocked in the six-yard box and was going in the far corner.

“If it means winning games 1-0, drawing 0-0 or nicking a game 2-1, so be it until the end of the season, it is just about winning games of football now, that is the mentality I have got and the players are delivering.

“I knew Doncaster could play direct or build the play, so I wasn’t sure quite what to expect, but the onus was on them once we went infront to try and play through us, around us, and I thought we stood up really strong.

“First half no issues whatsoever, second half as you would expect for a team fighting for their lives, trailing at home to a team above them, they are going to throw caution to the wind, we saw at the end they had a chance after leaving one versus one at the back. I thought there was a professional foul on Vadaine, he was through on goal and the referee should have given a foul and a red card, he didn’t and they almost went up the other end and scored, that is the fine lines.”

Harris added: “We knew the magnitude of the game and the importance of a result and it sets us up nicely for a big week.”

The Gills are away to Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More