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Gillingham striker Tom Nichols scored from a cross against Salford City | Head coach Stephen Clemence has identified the club’s crossing as a key area to increase the goal tally in League 2

Gillingham striker Tom Nichols broke his duck in the league on Saturday and praised the service from his team-mates.

Nichols headed in a Jonny Williams cross to put Gillingham 2-1 infront at Priestfield. They won the match against Salford 3-1.

Gillingham players celebrate their opening goal on Saturday scored by Connor Mahoney Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham players celebrate their opening goal on Saturday scored by Connor Mahoney Picture: Barry Goodwin

More: Gillingham’s ‘perfect week’

It was the 30-year-old striker’s first league goal in 17 appearances and he knows he needs to improve - but feels the chances will keep coming if his team-mates keep on delivering.

Improving the goal tally is top of the priority list for the new head coach Stephen Clemence and the Gills scored three on Saturday against Salford. Dom Jefferies nodded in Cheye Alexander’s cross to seal the points.

Nichols said: “It’s really nice for me to get off the mark (in the league) and three goals at home made for a really good day.

“I feel that I have been playing more like myself lately and I just needed a goal really, I felt like it was coming.

“There were a lot of crosses into the box with a lot of quality and I was really pleased to score a goal.

“It’s no secret that we haven’t scored enough goals as a team this year, and obviously I am included in that, we just need to keep working hard and keeping getting in the right areas and we did that, the boys put in some really good crosses and I was delighted.

“We are doing a lot more work on the wide areas and he (Clemence) wants me, the no.9, to get on the end of the crosses.

“We are getting a lot more crosses in the box which obviously helps. If we have more bodies in the box then they have more people to mark, it makes more space for the strikers.”

Getting more crosses into the box was a key area Clemence identified in helping get the goal count up.

The head coach said: “We were among the lowest for crosses in the league and I couldn’t believe it at first when I first saw the stat. I flagged that up and it is one of the things we have been working on.

“The boys got into areas we had worked on and managed to put in two great deliveries and two really good finishes.”

Nichols hadn’t started a league game for over a month and replaced Macauley Bonne in the XI. He was pleased to repay the manager with a goal.

He said: “I want to start games and I know I have not scored enough this season.

“It was nice to get the start and sort of reward him (the manager) with a goal and to get the three points as well.

“We scored some really good goals…there was some really good service, a lot of good crosses and a lot of bodies in the box as well and he (the manager) has been stressing to us we need to break forward harder and get more bodies into the box.

“It was a really important win, we need to get back to winning points and accumulating them, it was good for everyone, we needed that win. I thought it was a really good performance as well.”

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