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Gillingham manager Steve Lovell reacts to their 1-0 win at Walsall

Gills boss Steve Lovell hailed their away win at Walsall as their best yet.

His side went into the break a goal ahead, despite a tough 45 minutes, a lead which they held onto to claim maximum points.

The Gills had won at Peterborough and Rotherham under Lovell, showing plenty of attacking intent in those games, but it was their defensive resolve which delighted the newly appointed manager.

Gills manager Steve Lovell Picture: Ady Kerry
Gills manager Steve Lovell Picture: Ady Kerry

He said: “This one give me more pleasure than any of the others we have won away from home.

“It wasn’t an action packed attacking formation, we knew how Walsall played, they love to play football, so I was just pleased with the way we defended as a unit, with 10 men as well at the end.

“It was brilliant and that has given me more pleasure than anything.

“A 1-0 away win is a great result, it doesn’t matter where you are or what league you’re in, or where you are in the league, to come away with a 1-0 win is a fantastic result.”

Match Report: Walsall 0 Gillingham 1

Conor Wilkinson got the goal, on 44 minutes, after fellow front-man Tom Eaves crossed the ball in.

Lovell admitted the strikers took some time to come good, however.

“They disappointed me first half, the two of them,” he said.

“I had a little pop at them at half time. The ball was going up to them and it was coming straight back.

“As centre forwards you have to hold it up.

“A couple of times at the end of the first half they held the ball up and Tom got the ball, played it through to Conor and we got the ball. It was a scrappy goal, but it doesn’t matter.

Gillingham striker Tom Eaves challenges for the ball Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham striker Tom Eaves challenges for the ball Picture: Ady Kerry

“We had to get those two in the games. It broke down on them a little bit too much in the first half and that is why, I think, we didn’t have too much of the ball first half. It was a defensive way we had to play, but that was more our fault rather than them.

“When we got hold of the ball in the second half we did better with it.

Gillingham had to play with 10 men for the final 20 minutes after Max Ehmer was sent off, following a second bookable offence, both for fouls.

Lovell said: “We had to go with a 4-4-1 formation because there was no other way we could have done it.

“We had two banks of four and in the end they got frustrated.

“It was nice from a tactical point of view that the full-backs, particularly, understood not to come out of their slots, they stayed alongside the centre halves, meaning there were no areas for Walsall to hit.

“It was a perfect defensive display.”

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