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Gillingham boss Justin Edinburgh relieved with Walsall win after Brackley Town shocker in the week

Justin Edinburgh was relieved to see his Gillingham side respond to their midweek FA Cup embarrassment with a win.

The Gills had to defend in numbers during the second half but won at Walsall late on thanks to Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’ free-kick.

“I’m relieved,” said Edinburgh.

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Gillingham boss Justin Edinburgh Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham boss Justin Edinburgh Picture: Barry Goodwin

“There has obviously been a lot of soul searching over the last few days, but credit to the players, that’s who I am happy for.

“There were some words spoken on Thursday. It was flat and they were hurting and rightly so, but we had a real good training session on Friday and the mood was quickly swung. That was proved on the pitch.

“At other times we might have lost that and things gone against us. We had to defend for our lives last 10 minutes and we certainly had that in abundance.”

Report: Walsall 1 Gillingham 2

The Gills took an early lead through Cody McDonald but conceded soon after, with a goal Edinburgh felt should never have stood.

He said: “It was an incredible handball, his hand was above his head and in an unreal position, but you have to try and turn those things around.

“It is difficult at times when we are where we are, we are not winning freely and regularly, but that is back to back victories in the league and there is a real good opportunity for us to continue that now.”

Cody McDonald scores the opening goal at Walsall Picture: Barry Goodwin
Cody McDonald scores the opening goal at Walsall Picture: Barry Goodwin

Injuries to Ryan Jackson and Bradley Garmston meant changes in defence, while Deji Oshilaja was dropped to the bench for the returning Baily Cargill.

Edinburgh was delighted with those coming into the team.

He said: “They were excellent. Baily was fantastic alongside Max Ehmer, like he was last week. Wagstaff (playing right-back) was very good, giving us energy and balance. They both did very well, as did the whole team.”

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