Published: 00:00, 12 March 2019
| Updated: 14:47, 12 March 2019
Gillingham boss Steve Lovell is happy for Tom Eaves to remain on penalty duty.
His spot-kick against Oxford was saved on Saturday – the third time he has failed to convert from five attempts this season.
Lovell leaves it up to the players to decide who takes the penalties and that won’t change.
He said: “If Tom is confident of taking the next one then he will go and take it. I leave it up to the player.
“He has scored quite a few penalties. He said it was a weak penalty but I have missed penalties in my career and it’s not the nicest feeling in the world.
“He will be happy we have got the three points because he would have been disappointed to come off with one point and have the penalty miss.
“If he is confident to take a penalty on Tuesday (against Bristol Rovers), then he will. I haven’t got a problem with that, not a problem.”
Eaves’ two converted penalties were crucial ones.
He scored a last-gasp spot-kick at Hartlepool to take the FA Cup first round replay to extra-time and more recently netted a stoppage-time equaliser against Coventry.
His record for the Gills stands at four scored from eight in total.
“Penalties are 50-50 things aren’t they?” said Lovell. “The thing I say is that you have to stick your foot through it.
“He tried to place it and there was no pace on it. It was a good height for the keeper and had he gone the other way it’s a goal.
“If he is happy to take them then I haven’t got a problem with that.”
Aside from the penalty, Lovell was delighted with the striker’s contribution at the weekend, adding: “He gets bashed all game, he gets kicked and fouled and he still keeps going.
“He is a handful for any centre-half to deal with and I thought he did everything but score.
“I get frustrated with him at times for not doing the simple things, but he is such a hard worker and a dedicated professional. He is a great part of our team.”
Eaves even showed a bit of flair, winning a corner with a bit of skill that bamboozled his marker.
“I don’t think he meant that!” joked Lovell. “I turned to the bench and said ‘did he mean that?!’ and they said ‘did he hell!’ But he did, he has that in his locker.”