Emmanuel Osadebe netted Gillingham’s opener against Sheff Utd
JUSTIN Edinburgh enjoyed a dream start to the new season as he saw his side hammer Sheffield United for four, with new signing Ryan Jackson stealing the show in defence.
Former Spurs youngster Emmanuel Osadebe scored eight minutes into his professional debut for the Gills, while on-loan defender Deji Oshilaja also scored on his first Gillingham outing, before John Egan headed in a corner.
Bradley Dack’s drive completed victory and capped a miserable first game in charge of the Blades for new Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins.
However, brightest in the first half was new signing Jackson – he was instrumental, with the Blades left unnerved by his pace and his throw-ins.
Edinburgh said:“Ryan Jackson’s throw is a very good weapon to have. It causes problems. He was outstanding
“Osadebe was also excellent. I’ve never seen anyone with the energy levels that he’s got. We have to be careful with him, but he’s earned the right.”
Nigel Adkins’ men didn’t get into the game until the 18th minute, when a superb run from Che Adams afforded Billy Sharp a snapshot at goal.
At this stage they were already a goal down as Osadebe headed in after eight minutes.
Oshilaja played under Edinburgh at Newport and he made it 2-0, guiding a ball home from a corner that wasn’t cleared.
Conor Sammon came on with Adams deferring to midfield as the Blades pressed more, which paid off with more attempts, notably from Chris Basham and Jamie Murphy, forcing saves from Stuart Nelson.
But the Gills showed more desire and, except for a few patches, dictated play.
Adkins admitted as much, saying: “We started poorly and went behind.
“We changed shape but three goals were from set-plays.We have to do better than that. We all know that because we want to give ourselves a chance to win football games.
“We need to have six players who can head the ball at both ends of the field. We weren’t good enough, all credit to them. They’ve made a good start and justifiably won the game.
“I’ve highlighted it, at both penalty areas, set-plays are massive. In a competitive game, where it matters, on game day, we have got to do better and there’s no hiding away.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do and it’s a shame because so many of our supporters have come down and we’ve let them down – we’ve got to put that right.”
With eight minutes to go there was a third goal from a set-piece by Egan and the win was rounded off by a 20-yard drive by Dack.
Edinburgh said:“I haven’t looked at the league table yet but we’ll enjoy it and the performance.
“I said to the players that today was a foundation. We’ve given ourselves a platform to build off.
“For six weeks we’ve worked hard, we played with energy. Credit to my players.”
ALL SMILES: Emmanuel Osadebe netted Gillingham’s early opener