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Gillingham 2 Swindon Town 0: Gills boss Steve Evans reacts to League 1 victory at Priestfield


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Gillingham manager Steve Evans was grateful for some clinical finishing and a win after his team were not at their best on Saturday.

Vadaine Oliver hit the top corner with a strike that showed his current confidence before substitute Trae Coyle wrapped it up with a well-taken finish of his own. Gillingham only had one other shot on target, in a game where Swindon dominated possession, but Evans’ team got it right where it mattered most.

Evans admitted the Wednesday night trip to Bristol Rovers - which also ended in a 2-0 win - had taken plenty out of them and choosing to play the same side was a risk he felt worth taking.

He said: “I was really concerned at the start of the game. We played away at Bristol on Wednesday night and the team coach got back into Gillingham at something like 3am, the boys are tired and you are trying to recover them.

"We had already decided that the performance at Bristol was that emphatic that we would go with the same team but with the benefit of hindsight that might be a different decision going forward.

“It was an early kick off and it showed, we looked lacklustre for 15-17 minutes of the game, whatever it was, we had to grind our way into it. We got a goal against the run of play, let’s not kid ourselves, but what a finish from Vadaine. I think we then get back into it and it is a bit of a level game thereafter.

John Akinde holds off a Swindon defender Picture: Barry Goodwin
John Akinde holds off a Swindon defender Picture: Barry Goodwin

“Second half they have a bit of the ball but that is how Swindon have built their team isn’t it? With the previous manager (Richie Wellens) who is now at Salford and Shez (John Sheridan) they will continue that, they are a passing side, they are going to keep possession. Lots of the time they are at 65-70% possession this season and lose, that is a concern for them, not for me.

“Our thought process was to remain solid, play on the counter and get a second goal and I had absolutely no doubt at all that when it fell to Trae and he went through that he would put us 2-0 ahead. It was a good win and we found a way to win.

“Earlier in the season we dominated a good Sunderland side and a good Fleetwood team but didn’t take our chances and lost both. There are always fine lines. This time we took our chances. A few games we have been really good and not taken our chances and paid the price at the other end. We have just done the opposite.”

Scott Robertson in action for Gillingham against Swindon Picture: Barry Goodwin
Scott Robertson in action for Gillingham against Swindon Picture: Barry Goodwin

It's five unbeaten now for the Gills in League 1, winning their last three.

"We said this would be a big three games for us," said Evans.

"We had Wimbledon at home, then went down to Bristol Rovers and then Swndon and that is what I would call three bread and butter, hard, tough League 1 games.

"We have taken nine points from the three games. I said to the players, it wasn’t good (on Saturday) but we found a way to win.

Gillingham clear the danger as Swindon threaten the goal Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham clear the danger as Swindon threaten the goal Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham celebrate their second goal against Swindon Town Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham celebrate their second goal against Swindon Town Picture: Barry Goodwin

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