Published: 08:00, 07 November 2016
| Updated: 10:33, 07 November 2016
Justin Edinburgh feared the worst before his side fought back to earn a replay against Brackley Town on Saturday.
Two goals from Frank Nouble got the Gills back on level terms against their non-league visitors to keep themselves in the tie.
While the result was a disappointment for the manager, at least the fightback offered a shred of comfort.
“I stood there for a minute thinking we were out of the game,” revealed Edinburgh.
“People will probably raise their eyebrows but regardless of the opposition the players had to show their character and they dug in.
“They probably didn’t want the first half to end, because we had the momentum, but never really picked that up in the second half.
“The biggest frustration, no doubt, is that we haven’t won the game, not that I think we should have done, but that is what our expectations were, to win. We didn’t go on from where we left on in the first half.”
Gillingham pulled a goal back less than two minutes after conceding a second. It was that quick response that ensured they remained in the hunt.
“That was key,” added Edinburgh. “If there was a period where Brackley could settle and keep that two-goal cushion for a longer period, it could have been a worst-case scenario.”
Both of Nouble’s goals came from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’ assists, to the relief of the Gills boss.
He said: “That is what they are capable of and why we brought them to the club.
“It was a hole we were in but we got out of it. That is what they are in the team for, they have got flair, they are a danger and they produced for us.”