Published: 06:00, 21 November 2019
Brandon Hanlan fired the Gills into round two of the FA Cup on Tuesday night.
His extra-time winner against Sunderland landed Steve Evans’ side a match at home to Doncaster in round two.
The game is part of the BBC’s FA Cup coverage on Sunday, December 1, with a 2pm kick-off.
Hanlan’s goal was his fourth of the season and although they haven’t been easy to come by for the 22-year-old, Evans is seeing improvements in the striker.
He said: “Hanlan is getting better every time I see him.
“He has lots to work on but he is getting better and he has that work ethic.
“If he stops that work ethic he won’t be very good and he’ll be playing for Bromley or something.
“Brandon looked menacing all night and was unlucky not to get a hat-trick. His finish was fantastic, but it wasn’t just about that.
“His movement was fantastic, it is his pace, his touch into the box, and he drills it into the far corner.
“He had the power and the strength and the pace to cause them a real problem and when the ball went to him it was a fantastic finish.
“He has worked so hard in recent weeks for the team and you always want to get a goal when you work as hard as he did.
“Everyone in the dressing room is pleased for him.
“You could see what it meant. I don’t think there was a player apart from Jack Bonham (the goalkeeper) who wasn’t on top of him once he scored and that’s always a sign.
“There is a real unity in our dressing room.”
Hanlan’s winner for the Gills ensures Evans won’t have to endure a football-free weekend – and his wife won’t have to endure a weekend with her husband!
He said: “It is great and we can look forward to the FA Cup in the next round now, which is good because we would have had a vacant Saturday and we don’t want one of them.
“I love my teams playing football. I look forward to it all week and what would I have done?
“I would have gone and watched a game. I couldn’t be walking around the supermarket with my missus, that destroys my head!
“She knows what I am like, she will just be buzzing that I have got a game!”
More by this authorLuke Cawdell