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Gillingham 2 Hartlepool 0: Gills boss Neil Harris reacts to their League 2 win at Priestfield

Gillingham scored more than one goal in a league game for the first time since April and their manager felt they could have had six.

Two was enough in the end for the Gills - boosted with four new signings on the pitch - to see off Hartlepool in a clash of the bottom two in League 2. The match ended 2-0.

There was positive energy on and off the pitch as the club’s transformation under their new owners The Galinsons has got off to a good start.

“I thought it was a great day,” said manager Neil Harris. “It was a day to rival last Saturday (in the FA Cup). It’s been a fantastic week for us off the back of the Leicester performance and the atmosphere.

“Training has been boosted every day by new arrivals, the group has grown in confidence and belief. There was more freedom to our play and first goal is key in all levels, certainly at the level we play at the moment, we just haven’t scored the first goal enough. Once we got infront it gave belief and confidence for the rest of the group.

“It was a very good performance, a strong performance, I know they had a goal disallowed and they hit the post but we could have had six.”

Tom Nichols scored Gills’ opener in the first half but the visitors almost got one back, having a goal ruled out for offside. Harris’ men went straight down the other end and Nichols played in Dom Jefferies for a crucial second.

Newcomer Tom Nichols on the attack Gillingham against Hartlepool United (61848712)
Newcomer Tom Nichols on the attack Gillingham against Hartlepool United (61848712)

With Nichols and fellow new signing Oli Hawkins upfront for Gills, there was a fresh look to the team.

Harris said: “As a pair they looked like they had played together for years, the chemistry, everything came off for them as a pair, the cleverness of their play. Neither of them are that mobile but the timing of their movement is different class, that gave us the base.

"Tim Dieng (playing in behind the front two) had a great performance and a great debut. Glenn (Morris in goal) was excellent and deserved a clean sheet.

“We were just really strong, what we saw with a structure to our play and a little more quality in the group, players who have been here all season played so much better as well.

“Dom Jeffereies, not only the goal, but his all round performance was good as we’ve seen all season.”

Alex MacDonald provided the assist for Gillingham's opener (61848982)
Alex MacDonald provided the assist for Gillingham's opener (61848982)

With a football structure in place and new players in the building, the win backed up what is a massive improvement at the club under the new owners.

“I will sleep well tonight,” Harris said, after a tough first 11 months at the club. “Ask anyone, I have been like a different character in the week.

“It has been tough for everyone at the football club and I am the one who has to front it all the time, it has been difficult. Everyone asks what a Neil Harris team looks like, that’s a lot more like it.”

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