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Welling United 1 Gillingham 2 - reaction from Gills coach Jason Lillis

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham coach Jason Lillis praised the performance of Elliott List, as the young forward shone in their Kent Senior Cup win over Welling.

List scored Gills' opening goal in a 2-1 win and created several more chances during an energetic showing.

“First half we were outstanding and Listy made the difference,” said Lillis.

Gillingham coach Jason Lillis on the touchline at Park View Road Picture: Keith Gillard
Gillingham coach Jason Lillis on the touchline at Park View Road Picture: Keith Gillard

Report: Welling United 1 Gillingham 2

“He was absolutely superb. He was untouchable. That is what he has got in his locker.”

First team boss Steve Lovell, who had been critical of the young forward at the weekend, signalled for him to come off after an hour, having seen enough.

List’s opener was quickly followed by a goal from Noel Mbo, as the Gills raced into a 2-0 lead.

Noel Mbo with the ball for Gillingham Picture: Keith Gillard
Noel Mbo with the ball for Gillingham Picture: Keith Gillard

Lillis said: “Listy was just disappointed not to have got a hat-trick but that is one of those things, he got himself into good positions. If we had taken our chances first half the game would have been out of sight.

“Noel has got another goal and that came from a lot of hard work in midfield. We nicked the ball on the edge of their box for him to get his chance and that was what were about first half, we got at them and pressed them further up the pitch.”

Welling came into the match more second half, getting a deserved goal back and pushing for an equaliser. Lillis had special praise for keeper Tom Hadler, who made one crucial save during that second period.

Elliott List on the ball against Welling United on Tuesday night Picture: Keith Gillard
Elliott List on the ball against Welling United on Tuesday night Picture: Keith Gillard

“We didn’t game manage the second half enough,” Lillis said.

“We need to look at that. We got a bit sloppy, we didn’t retain the ball as much as we did first half, we didn’t move it quick enough and that allowed them to get onto us.

“Tom Hadler made one outstanding save, that is the difference between us maybe losing or getting a draw and for us to win. He was superb. I don’t think he had a lot to do with shots on target but when he got called upon on that moment, that was exceptional, that was a save I haven’t seen for a while.”

Lillis was delighted to see the side taking a step closer to some silverware after beating a decent Welling side, riding high in National League South.

He said: “The (younger) boys don’t play too many competitive games, even though we try and make them competitive, but there was something on this and we wanted to get into the next round of the cup.

“It is a development group, they are young lads and they will learn from it. Hopefully they will reflect, we will talk about it on Thursday and they will become stronger for it.

“That is what they need to come up against if they want to start pushing for a first-team place. I am really pleased they (Welling) came strong at us and we had to deal with it. We rode our luck a few times but we will take the win.

“From a coaching side it is good for us, it challenges them more, it takes them out of their comfort zone, nothing is easy, for them to come through it, battle, ride out luck, clear chances in the box, it was a learning experience for them.

“There is not a lot that these boys, trophy wise, are going to be playing for, unless they are in the first team and we are on a good cup run and they get a chance in the Checkatrade Trophy. Winning any cup is nice because you never know when the next one will be. We are definitely in it to win it.”

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