The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Alex Smith

JER­MAINE McGlashan’s late win­ner pushed Craw­ley back into the rel­e­ga­tion zone and in­terim boss Dean Saun­ders was fu­ri­ous at his side’s com­pla­cency.

Bradley Dack gave the vis­i­tors a jus­ti­fied first-half lead with a twist­ing run and shot be­fore goal­ma­chine Izale McLeod gave hope with his 18th of the sea­son.

But winger McGlashan’s div­ing header nine min­utes from time ended Craw­ley’s three game win­ning run and dented their safety dreams.

And Craw­ley chief Saun­ders was dis­ap­pointed to end their win­ning run with a dis­mal per­for­mance.

He said: “Foot­ball has a habit of slap­ping you in the face.

“We have come off the back of win­ning three games and play­ing re­ally well and then we put in a per­for­mance like that.

“There was so much at stake here and we were flat from the start.

“There are no ex­cuses, we were just miles off it.

“Maybe we started to be­lieve our own pub­lic­ity and that we were bet­ter than we are.

“We are still in the rel­e­ga­tion zone and we are there for a rea­son.

“We got out of it be­cause we did the dirty work and then hu­man na­ture took over and we for­got to do the dirty bits again.

“I em­pha­sised to the play­ers how im­por­tant get­ting to 46 points here would have been.We don’t want to leave it too late

“Hope­fully it will be the kick up the back­side we need.”

Dack and wide men McGlashan and John Mar­quis in par­tic­u­lar moved the ball around quickly as first-half traf­fic trav­elled in one di­rec­tion.

And Gilling­ham took a de­served lead when Dack skipped past three non-ex­is­tent tack­les be­fore slid­ing coolly un­der Brian Jensen to score for the first time since Valen­tine’s Day.

The home side fi­nally had a shot on the cusp of half-time when An­thony Wordsworth shinned an ef­fort nar­rowly wide, be­fore land­ing a 35-yard-free kick on the roof of the goal mo­ments later.

Mid­way through the sec­ond half McLeod net­ted for the fourth game in a row, with a classy turn and half-vol­ley af­ter col­lect­ing a hope­ful long punt for­ward.

The Gills looked to fire back quickly as Luke Nor­ris teased de­fender Richard Wood be­fore forc­ing a low save, be­fore Mar­quis made Jensen to tip his header wide.

Max Eh­mer fired a shot against the post be­fore McGlashan headed home the win­ner af­ter a low cross from Dack.

In stop­page time sub­sti­tute Reds right-back Lanre Oye­banjo fired a low sting­ing strike against the post, but the Red Devils fell back into the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

And Gills manager Justin Ed­in­burgh was proud at how his side dom­i­nated tricky op­po­nents.

He said: “We had a lot of pos­ses­sion in the first half and worked the ball well.

“Our cross­ing from wide ar­eas could have been much bet­ter and if we could have got more qual­ity in the box we could have caused Craw­ley more prob­lems.

“To come away and have as much pos­ses­sion as we did against a team that had just won three con­sec­u­tive games was very pleas­ing.”

Gilling­ham have now reached the tra­di­tion­ally safe points mark of 46 and in a tight League One are just five points off the play-off places, but Ed­in­burgh is not promis­ing any­thing.

He added: “We are not safe from rel­e­ga­tion un­til we are math­e­mat­i­cally safe.

“We will keep crack­ing on and we want to get as many points as pos­si­ble.

“We are just five points away from the play-offs but games are run­ning out.

“You have to keep go­ing un­til you are told you can’t do it any­more.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age

HAVE SOME OF THAT: Bradley Dack scores the opener for Gilling­ham

TOP STUFF: Jer­maine McGlashan cel­e­brates

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