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Gillingham 3 Dagenham & Redbridge 2: Reaction from Gills boss Neil Harris as Hakeeb Adelakun's winner sets up FA Cup Third-Round match with Leicester City

Hakeeb Adelakun’s goal was a moment of quality that was deserving of earning Gillingham a big Third-Round FA Cup tie, said manager Neil Harris.

The Gills scored a breakaway goal to win the Second-Round replay against Dagenham as Adelakun and Scott Kashket combined, exchanging passes the length of the Priestfield pitch before hitting a 95th-minute winner.

Report: Gillingham 3-2 Dagenham

Gillingham’s reward is a Third-Round match at home to Premier League Leicester City on Saturday, January 7.

“I am pleased that the supporters had some excitement,” Harris said after the 3-2 win.

“I thought the conditions helped the game, in the sense that there was a lot of turnovers (of possession). The ball was freezing because of the grass and when you tried to control it the ball would slip, we realised that in the warm-up. I said to the boys it might be the team that makes the least mistakes (wins).

“We made a poor mistake for their second goal but it didn’t cost us in the end, cup football is about getting through to the next round, that is all that matters, we are through and that’s the main thing and we get to look forward to Leicester here in January.

Hakeeb Adelakun scored Gillingham's winner against Dagenham
Hakeeb Adelakun scored Gillingham's winner against Dagenham
Gillingham's FA Cup match was live on BBC3
Gillingham's FA Cup match was live on BBC3

“(The winning goal) was a real moment of quality and a deserved way of winning the cup tie, it was a moment deserving of playing a Premier League team in the next round.

“I thought we had the better chances over the 90 minutes and deserved to win the game.”

The game was in the balance at 1-1. With over an hour gone, Harris turned to his substitutes to gain them extra momentum, and both Kashket and Alex MacDonald helped turn the tide in their favour.

Max Ehmer had put Gills 2-1 in front and, although his mistake handed Dagenham a lifeline at 2-2, Adelakun’s goal clinched it.

Harris said: “I thought we were the better team and then I thought we went another level when the subs came on, the subs made an impact.

Alex MacDonald made a positive impact from the bench for Gillingham
Alex MacDonald made a positive impact from the bench for Gillingham

“Alex MacDonald was tremendous when he came on, not just with the cross for the goal, but his determination and game understanding and it is important for him to understand, we need that impact, whether from start or bench, he can impact games.

“In the first game the substitutes made an impact, at Crawley the subs made an impact, they didn’t make an impact against Salford, but sometimes it goes for you and sometimes it doesn’t. Alex MacDonald certainly made a big impact.”

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