FUMING DEAN IS NOT IMPRESSED
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.”
HAVE SOME OF THAT: Bradley Dack scores the opener for Gillingham
TOP STUFF: Jermaine McGlashan celebrates