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Skipper Lee Martin won't let striker Conor Wilkinson claim Gillingham's second goal in win at Portsmouth

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham captain Lee Martin hailed the impact of half-time substitute Conor Wilkinson – but still wasn’t letting him claim the second goal.

Wilkinson replaced Tom Eaves at the break and within three minutes he fired the Gills level.

The striker was then claiming the second as he looked to get a head onto Martin’s ball into the box, which ended up going straight into the back of the net.

Lee Martin, right, and Conor Wilkinson, left, celebrate at Pompey Picture: Ady Kerry
Lee Martin, right, and Conor Wilkinson, left, celebrate at Pompey Picture: Ady Kerry

“That’s my goal,” grinned skipper Martin, who sealed the points with a fantastic strike into the far corner.

“He claimed he touched it. If I watch it back and I think he’s touched it, he’s still not having it!

“Conor has been brilliant. I said to him in the warm-up, he has been awesome, leading up to that in training. You earn your money Monday to Friday, and then come Saturday you are on autopilot.

“He has been outstanding in training and he deserved his chance, which he has taken.”

Martin’s 80th-minute strike, to make it 3-1, was a special one.

“I knew I had space to manoeuvre and get a shot away,” he said. “Fortunately it went in. I caught it well and when you catch it you just know don’t you?”

Those second-half goals turned around a half-time deficit. Martin explained that boss Steve Lovell was far from impressed with their work in the first half.

He added: “There were some harsh words from the gaffer at half-time. We needed to turn it around and get stuck in. Second half we rectified things and got the goals that we deserved.”

Victory took the Gills onto 49 points, just five adrift of the play-off places, but Martin isn’t getting caught up with all the hype.

He said: “We do what we need to do Monday to Friday. We prepare properly and we look to go out and win games.

“I have been around long enough to know the way the it works, it can bite you on the bottom and it can be a cruel game. We take it game by game.”

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