The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Raj Man­gat

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.”




am Gillingh ALL SMILES: Gilling­ham play­ers cel­e­brate their first goal scored by Cody McDon­ald

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