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Former Northampton Town striker Vadaine Oliver takes his season tally for Gillingham to seven after quality striker against Swindon Town

Vadaine Oliver’s good form continued on Saturday and boss Steve Evans wasn’t surprised with his quality finish for Gillingham’s opener.

Oliver’s scored most of his seven goals with his head this term but a well-taken goal to put Gills ahead against Bristol Rovers in the week was followed up with a strike on Saturday that shows he means business, hitting the top corner after fending off a defender.

It’s four goals in three games now for the former Northampton Town striker.

“He was a handful for them,” said Evans after Saturday’s 2-0 win.

“He is a handful whenever it goes into his area. He was probably a bit frustrated early part of the game but when he is on his game and you put it into him he is outstanding. He picks people out and he is a threat.

“You could see the team they picked told us that they were worried about the aerial threat and there were always two around him, one blocking from the front and one behind. It was hard for him, but the finish he did, I don’t think there is a person in the dressing room who is surprised because he is brilliant in the air but good on the ground as well, especially in the box.

“In my era he would be like (Scotland’s former Leeds United, Manchester United and AC Milan striker) Joe Jordan, he was known for being outstanding in the air, a threat and it needed two people around him.

“(Vadaine) is 6ft 4inch and he jumps 8ft 4inch fo it is very difficult to guard against.”

Vadaine Oliver was kept under close watch by Swindon but they couldn't prevent him scoring an opening goal Picture: Barry Goodwin
Vadaine Oliver was kept under close watch by Swindon but they couldn't prevent him scoring an opening goal Picture: Barry Goodwin

Gillingham are getting good value from the striker but Evans admits he was surprised to get him following his decision to leave promoted Northampton.

“Keith (Curle, the Northampton manager) was keen to keep him.

“I worked hard to get Vadaine, travelled up to his home in Sheffield a few times to talk to the kid and he had options, four or five in League 1 and if I am being honest I was surprised that he rang me and said he wanted to meet again.

“We couldn’t compete with the finances but him and his young lady were in a situation where he could make a decision for football reasons and he wanted to come here, he wanted to play and I was the manager that convinced him that if he comes and does what he can do then he will play.”

Read more on the Gills;

Report: Gillingham 2 Swindon Town 0

Reaction: 'We found a way to win'

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