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Gillingham manager Justin Edinburgh reacts to the 3-0 League 1 victory over Rochdale

Justin Edinburgh praised his Gillingham players after their long wait for a clean sheet ended.

Gills beat Rochdale 3-0 at Priestfield on Saturday afternoon to move up to 15th place in League 1 - only three points off the play-offs.

It was their first shut-out in the league in 27 matches, a run stretching back to April.

Frank Nouble has just given Gillingham the lead Picture: Andy Jones
Frank Nouble has just given Gillingham the lead Picture: Andy Jones

The impact of Bournemouth loanee Baily Cargill is clear but it was very much a team effort to frustrate a Dale side who’d won their last two games 4-0.

Boss Edinburgh said: “Baily gives you that balance with a natural left-footed centre-half and I think his composure has brought the best out in Max Ehmer.

“As well, Scott Wagstaff’s fitted in the last couple of games at right-back and he’s been excellent.

“It’s tough because it’s quite easy to keep saying we keep a clean sheet, we win games and we won’t lose, but if it was that simple it would have been done before now.

“I’m pleased for the whole team because it’s done as a collective but more for Stuart Nelson and the back four because I thought over the last couple of games they’ve been worthy of keeping more.”

Cody McDonald on the stretch Picture: Andy Jones
Cody McDonald on the stretch Picture: Andy Jones

Frank Nouble’s deflected strike gave Gills the lead early in the second half, then late goals from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Mark Byrne clinched a third win in four league games.

Edinburgh said: “It was a scrappy performance but I think we just deserved to get that kind of scoreline sooner rather than later.

“We’re up against a decent side in Rochdale.

“They made it really difficult for us to play, obviously buoyed by two 4-0 victories, so we knew it was going to be tough, we knew it would be tight but I think it was a dogged performance from everyone that took part today.

“We’ve been getting some real consistency in performances and the big thing for me is that we were able to name the same team for the third successive time.”

There is some bad news on the injury front, though. Edinburgh revealed that Billy Knott has a hamstring problem after the midfielder went off after just 14 minutes.

Read the match report from Gills' victory and vote for your man-of-the-match

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