Gillingham manager Neil Harris watched his side play their best football yet in the opening half against Rochdale.
The Gills led 1-0 at the break thanks to a Scott Kashket goal and Harris was thrilled with the first hour in particular before his side had to dig in and ensure Rochdale staged no comeback.
Harris said: “I said to the players before the match that we wanted to put a show on, we wanted to start well in our first home game and we did, first 45 minutes was certainly the best football we have played since I have been at the club and probably (the best at the club in) 12 months.
“We really moved the ball well. Second half was about getting over the line and winning the game.
“I thought it was so important to get three points in our first game at home, just for the football club, just for the positivity that has been here all pre-season really.
"I know we were all disappointed to have started with a defeat the week before (at Wimbledon). It was so important we got off to a flyer and we have set our stall out now, we have shown what we are capable of, set the standards in those first 45 minutes and it is down to the players to keep improving.”
Gillingham fans endured a long season watching home games last term, with just four wins at Priestfield in the league, finishing with the worst record of any in their division.
It’s new beginnings, however, under Harris and they got an opening goal after just nine minutes on Saturday. It turned out to be the winner.
“Some of the play was exceptional,” Harris said.
“The decision making was good, we pressed really well, when we had the ball we looked like a team threatening to score goals, then when we got a little bit sloppy and a bit nervy maybe. In the last 25 minutes we defended our box really well and ultimately Glenn (Morris the Gills keeper) hasn’t had a save to make in the 90 minutes.
“We wanted to start positively here, we wanted to show the fans over the course of 90 minutes, but in particular in periods, we can be a good team, we have seen it on the training pitch and it was about translating it onto the pitch and certainly first hour we were very good.
“We were so much more braver on the ball in the first half than last week against Wimbledon, we played good football in tight areas, we ran forward and played forward, a couple of times a sticky pitch stopped us getting into goalscoring positions and scoring a couple more.
“(We got) a clean sheet and we haven’t conceded a goal or even a shot (on target) at home in our first game which was really positive from a defensive point of view as well.
“I had a few choice words to my players after the game at Wimbledon, I said that we had to learn quickly and I can talk quite a lot, I talked to them quite a lot with video footage of the game to make us right and the players’ learning capabilities showed.”