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Brandon Hanlan scores Gillingham's opening goal of the 2018/19 season at Accrington

It was a great opening day for Gillingham newboy Brandon Hanlan.

The summer signing netted on his first league start for the Gills, opening the scoring in a 2-0 win over Accrington Stanley.

He combined with another former Charlton player Regan Charles-Cook to get the season off to a flyer on Saturday.

Brandon Hanlan in action for the Gills at Accrington Picture: Ady Kerry (3460704)
Brandon Hanlan in action for the Gills at Accrington Picture: Ady Kerry (3460704)

“The boys came out buzzing from the first whistle,” said the 21-year-old forward.

“I am pleased to have scored my first League 1 goal and to do it on my debut as well, I am very happy and very pleased with my performance.

“The whole team stuck together, we were solid, we got the goals, took the cleansheet and it was a great opening day to the season.”

His goal came midway through the first half, converting a cross from Charles-Cook.

“I didn’t know it it was a cross or a shot,” said the goalscorer. “But I saw it and I anticipated it and I got on the end of it. That’s what I am in the box to do.”

He’s one of several new faces this summer as Lovell looks to give youth a chance.

Hanlan said: “I know the gaffer from being at Charlton, he knows me of course and it is always better coming into a club where they know you. I came in and felt comfortable.

“I always thought I could’ve done better (after being loaned out to Bromley last season). Coming to League 1 I know what I have to do and I know where I want to be, this is just a stepping stone for me and I am going to take that opportunity.”

Hanlan and his team-mates were backed by over 400 fans at Accrington. He was grateful for the support and now hopes he can show everyone else what he can do when he makes his home debut next weekend against Burton Albion.

“I am very excited to play at home,” he said.

“Hopefully I can get out there into the starting XI and score some more goals.

“It was great to have so many fans travelling, over such a distance, hopefully they stay behind us all season. We are going to keep performing and scoring goals for them so hopefully it will be a great season.”

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