Gills and Edinburgh find home
JUSTIN Edinburgh praised his Gillingham side’s resilience in coming away with a first home win in almost two months – a result which leaves Bradford City’s play-off hopes all but finished.
The Gills stood up to intense first-half pressure from Bradford, and had Glenn Morris to thank for a string of impressive saves in the first period.
The game opened up in the second half and Edinburgh seized the opportunity to make three quick changes, with substitute John Marquis eventually making the difference in the 72nd-minute.
Edinburgh said: “In the first half we had to dig deep and defend against a lot of balls into the box from a fast starting Bradford team.
“Once we got in at half-time at 0-0 I knew that there was more to come from the team. I was a little anxious as we hadn’t won at home for a period of time but I thought we started the second half well.
“The back three was marshalled well by Leon Legge and Glenn Morris in goal. I felt we dealt well with them and as the game went on we started in impose ourselves on the game and stretch Bradford.
“You hope that when substitutes come on they make an impact. I’m pleased for John, it was a good finish. He was unlucky with the second one that was headed off the line. I think we could have had one or two more if decisions had been better in the final third.”
Leon Legge and Max Ehmer at the heart of the Gillingham defence held steady under a first-half aerial siege, but the home side had goalkeeper and man-of-the-match Morris to thank for keeping the scores level, stopping James Hanson and John Stead on the stroke of half-time.
The second period opened up and Marquis, on loan from Millwall, eventually broke the deadlock for the home side, cutting onto his right foot and curling an effort past Ben Williams and into the bottom corner for the win.
Bradford boss Phil Parkinson refused to admit defeat in the battle for the play-offs, with his side seven points adrift, but he bemoaned the inability to convert first-half dominance into goals.
Parkinson said: “It’s never over until it’s over so we’ll keep going until the referee blows his whistle on the last day of the season.
“We’ve completely dominated for 45 minutes and not taken our chances. Those dividing lines in football are tight. We just need to take one of those chances, and with the way we played in the first half was worthy of a two or three goal lead.
“It was frustrating to come in at half-time at 00.We needed to take one of our chances.”
STAR MAN GLENN MORRI