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Gillingham boss Steve Lovell tips striker Conor Wilkinson to kick on after winner at Walsall

By Luke Cawdell

A first league goal at Walsall for Conor Wilkinson will be the first of many, hopes boss Steve Lovell.

Wilkinson started his first league game under Lovell on Saturday and he responded by prodding home what turned out to be the winning goal.

His only other start during Lovell’s time in charge came in the recent Checkatrade Trophy win over Reading, where he netted his first in a Gills shirt.

Conor Wilkinson celebrates his goal at Walsall with fellow striker Tom Eaves Picture: Ady Kerry
Conor Wilkinson celebrates his goal at Walsall with fellow striker Tom Eaves Picture: Ady Kerry

Speaking about the striker’s goal on Saturday, Lovell said: “Conor has scored some worldies in his career and he scored one the other week (against Southend in a practice match) which was unbelievable.

“That is what he does in training all the time but to get a little poke underneath the keeper, they all count don’t they?

“That will do him the power of good. I am so pleased for him. He has taken a bit of stick, from me as well, but I know he is a good player. He needs to work hard and he has done.

“He deserves his chance and hopefully he can go on and score a lot more for us.”

The Gills only had limited chances at the weekend – with just three shots at goal compared to Walsall’s 21 – and Lovell asked Wilkinson and fellow striker Tom Eaves for more at the break.

He wanted the pair to hold the ball up more.

“We didn’t use the ball as well as we should have in central areas,” said the manager.

“Tom and Conor didn’t do themselves many favours in the first 20 minutes, but they worked hard, I am not disputing that.

“The two of them combined and got us a goal and they have done great. They worked hard, part of a team that worked hard to get us the three points and everyone did that. That is what is needed.”

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