JUSTIN’S JOY AS GILLS GET GOING
NEW Gillingham boss Justin Edinburgh insisted his team can still improve despite shocking thirdplaced MK Dons at Priestfield – their third league win in a row.
Second-half goals from Bradley Garmston and John Marquis added to Cody McDonald and Bradley Dack’s first-half efforts for the Gills – who move up to 12th – with MK Dons’ Devante Cole and Ben Reeves twice pegging back the hosts.
Edinburgh admitted that while the performance of his team was excellent it’s important to keep the players grounded.
“That’s a top performance against a very good side and I’m very pleased with our work,” he said.“The energy levels of the players were staggering, they did it from start to finish, and we never allowed MK Dons to get a foothold in the game or play with any fluency.
“There are still areas to improve, our transition from winning the ball back to playing was a bit hectic and we gave it away unnecessarily at times, but that’s something I can work with.
“There’s a great belief here, a real togetherness, trust and very good team spirit and if we continue like that we can push up the league.”
In Edinburgh’s first home game as boss, the Gills went ahead after nine minutes thanks to McDonald’s 12th goal of the season. A well worked free-kick saw Dack lay the ball off to the striker and he drilled a low shot beyond the outstretched arm of Ian McLoughlin.
The Dons were level nine minutes before the break, when Manchester City loanee Cole found space inside the box and finished into the bottom right corner.
But the hosts responded just two minutes later, when Dack broke into the box, before smashing past McLoughlin.
The Gills started the second half strongly and McDonald nearly grabbed his second of the game, but his shot hit McLoughlin and bounced back off the post.
MK Dons pushed in search of an equaliser and were level on 67 minutes, when Reeves converted from the penalty spot after Gavin Hoyte brought down Carl Baker.
The Gills were not to be denied though, and Garmston’s low shot slipped through the hands of McLoughlin to make it 3-2 before the hosts sealed all three points when Marquis latched on to Dack’s ball and confidently struck home in the 81st minute.
MK Dons boss Karl Robinson was left frustrated by defeat, but concedes his team are still in a good position and know what they need to do to improve.
“I'm still baffled at how we’ve lost because they were just two breakaway goals in which we should have done better,” he said.
“Their keeper was by far their man-of-thematch and when you look at the decision for our penalty, how that’s not a sending off literally baffles me.
“There were elements of our game that weren’t good enough and we know where we can improve and get better, and that’s what we plan to do.
“But we are still in a very good position and sometimes you have to go through these moments to appreciate the good times.”
EY BRADL DACK
am Gillingh ALL SMILES: Gillingham players celebrate their first goal scored by Cody McDonald