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David Tutonda scored his first goal for Gillingham in the 2-0 win over Colchester United

Gillingham defender David Tutonda knew it was about time he bagged another goal - over three years since his last one.

The left-back isn’t renowned for his scoring exploits and admitted he wasn’t sure what to do when the ball hit the net on Saturday for Gills’ opener in their 2-0 win at Colchester. It was his first for the club.

“I went quite blank (after scoring),” said the 27-year-old, after header flew over the Colchester keeper and into the net.

“I ran to the corner flag and chose to do a Marcus Rashford celebration as I’m a Manchester United fan!

“I have been thinking that I was probably overdue one so just to get into the right area and dispatch it was a nice feeling.”

Alex MacDonald’s ball into the box was flicked on by Timothee Dieng and Tutonda got infront of the defender to score. It was a goal that had been in the making since missing a chance the week before.

He said: “Tim got himself in that threatening position and flicked it on, I’ve seen it late but I knew what I wanted to do, luckily it found its way in.

“This comes from the training pitch, the gaffer is always telling me to make the back post, to be positive and to gamble.

“I remember last game I had a similar situation and I was on the outside of the full-back, not inside, that had been on my mind and I was lucky enough to get into that position and score.”

David Tutonda scored Gillingham's first goal on Saturday Picture: Barry Goodwin
David Tutonda scored Gillingham's first goal on Saturday Picture: Barry Goodwin

Tutonda’s goal record isn’t really an issue as it’s his defensive attributes which are more important, but that feeling is always special. His last goal was for Barnet at Maidenhead in December 2019. His previous goal in the Football League was also for Barnet, in April 2017.

“It’s always nice to score but the clean-sheet was important as well,” he said.

“Back when I was younger I used to be a goal threat, but more of an assist person, although it is nice to get into that area and score, you can’t replicate that feeling.

“It was a massive three points, we knew what kind of game it would be, we knew it would be a fight, a scrap, but the boys were absolutely resolute, strong, we were clinical, we took our chances and managed to get the three points.”

Tutonda has seen off Plymouth loanee Ryan Law for the left-back spot but there’s always another threat to the shirt around the corner. With money to spend, the Gills may well add more full-back cover to the squad.

Extra additions are expected this week.

It’s not an issue for the defender, however, who appears to be thriving off the pressure. On Saturday he came up against the likes of Junior Tchamadeu but coped well, with plenty of second half pressure.

He said: “I think you get the best out of players when there is competition. That is what we have at the moment.

“The fact of the matter is we weren’t good enough and had we all been replaced we wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

“We picked up a lot of bad habits and when you are losing a lot, losing becomes a habit, it is tough to get out of it, we were in a bad place which was clear to see, but now it has changed. It is 100% a better place to be, for sure.

“The signings that have come in are massive for us and the ones that were here before are performing now, it is credit to us and the new boys, we need to keep it going now.”

The first half of the season was tough for the Gills but they are now off the bottom of League 2
The first half of the season was tough for the Gills but they are now off the bottom of League 2

The Gills are off the bottom of League 2 on goal difference after back-to-back wins.

“We have done nothing at the moment,” said the defender. “We have just closed the gap (to safety). There is a long way to go, it has only been two games, we know where our mind’s at, we just have continue now.

“There is a buzz about the place, we have added to the squad, which is a good thing and the new signings have been terrific. You can feel the buzz around the place and it’s taken to the pitch as well. It is good to be picking up results.”

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