Now go and win the ti­tle de­mands boss Allen


The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Nick Bull

MARTIN Allen firmly set his sights on the ti­tle af­ter Danny Ked­well’s sec­ond-half strike saw off strug­gling Torquay and fired Gilling­ham back into League One af­ter a three-year ab­sence.

With Northamp­ton and Rother­ham both los­ing, Ked­well’s 48th-minute vol­ley was enough for the Gills to be­come the first side in the Foot­ball League to gain pro­mo­tion this sea­son.

This was also Allen’s first pro­mo­tion as a man­ager – but he in­sisted there will be no let-up in Gilling­ham’s fo­cus as they now seek to win the di­vi­sion.

“First and fore­most, our chal­lenge was to get pro­moted. But now we have got the chance to win the cham­pi­onship,” said Allen.

“We could chuck the kids in and have a bit of a laugh un­til the end of the sea­son but the play­ers don’t want that and their drive over the past weeks has been about go­ing the whole way.

“It’s been a team ef­fort on and off the field, a lot of peo­ple have played their part and helped this club.

“We have got proper men in the team, and we have got some young lads who are full of en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm.

“I had to­tal faith in ev­ery­body that they would do the job.”

The Gills started brightly, as Ked­well tested Gulls goal­keeper Martin Rice with a low drive and Adam Bir­chall hit the bar with a curl­ing shot.

Torquay were con­tent to play on the break, and this ap­proach al­most paid off af­ter 18 min­utes as former Gilling­ham loa­nee Rene Howe hit the post and had an ef­fort cleared off the line in the space of a minute.

Mid­fielder Ian Mor­ris also wasted a good op­por­tu­nity shortly be­fore half­time as he headed over from close range when un­marked.

They were made to pay for th­ese missed chances min­utes into the sec­ond half, as Joe Martin’s bril­liantly weighted di­ag­o­nal ball found Ked­well in the box, who volleyed past Rice.

A nervy fi­nale for the hosts en­sued, and Kevin Ni­chol­son al­most ru­ined the their pro­mo­tion party.

How­ever his 25-yard free-kick can­noned back off the cross­bar five min­utes be­fore the end.

De­spite watch­ing his side lose for the third game in suc­ces­sion, Torquay man­ager Alan Knill in­sisted more per­for­mances like this will be enough to keep them in the di­vi­sion.

“It was al­ways go­ing to be a tough game. You can see why they are top of the league,” he said.

“They have got good play­ers on the pitch and on the bench, but af­ter the first ten min­utes, we grew into the game.

“Even though they had a lot of the ball, we looked dan­ger­ous on the counter, which was our plan.

“I thought we were bet­ter than we were last week. We ap­plied our­selves bet­ter, we showed more ef­fort, more com­mit­ment and I will take that. “If we do that for the rest of the sea­son, I think we will com­fort­ably

stay up.”



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