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Gillingham manager Steve Evans reacts to 3-1 win over Oxford United

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Gillingham found a way to win on Saturday, said boss Steve Evans.

Opponents Oxford had more possession and more chances but he was thrilled with what his team showed.

“They have shown a desire, a fight and a spirit,” he said. “The Gillingham fans should be really proud of that.

“Oxford came with big resources and they have some wonderful players. I am watching Sam Winnall come on as a substitute, Matty Taylor upfront and I couldn’t afford his fuel in the summer, never mind his package. They are wonderful players and that is credit to the manager.

“We had to find a way to win the game and we found it. We did it through organisation, shape and discipline.

“We took our chances when they came, our goalkeeper made two great saves but in fairness to their goalkeeper he has done the same in the second half.

“We worked on our shape Thursday and Friday and the boys put some hours in. We worked hard.”

The Gills did come under intense pressure at times but always had the advantage where it mattered, scoring twice inside the opening 22 minutes.

Gills players celebrate their opening goal Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gills players celebrate their opening goal Picture: Barry Goodwin

Evans admits they can improve and the game could have gone either way.

He said: "We credit how hard we work and the desire and commitment but we can certainly play a lot better, get the ball down and play better, but these kids are starting to believe and they are continuing to learn.

“We got sloppy on a couple of occasions and rolled over possession too easy and that is when Oxford had their best spells.

“It could have been 5-4 either way. I am not saying we played Oxford off the pitch and won 3-1 with an emphatic performance.

“Oxford are a good side and we had to find a way to win a football match. That comes from effort and desire and passion and with a team of kids. We just work hard and that is what you have to do when you have the least resources in the league.

“It’s a good win for us. Karl (Robinson, the Oxford manager) will be disappointed, they had good possession, they had chance but we found a way to win and that is what is important from our point of view.”

Action between Gillingham and Oxford United Picture: Barry Goodwin
Action between Gillingham and Oxford United Picture: Barry Goodwin

Report: Gillingham 3 Oxford United 1

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Touchline row ended by opening goal

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