The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Nick Bull

GILLING­HAM man­ager Justin Ed­in­burgh opted to praise his squad as op­posed to in­di­vid­u­als af­ter Bradley Dack’s dou­ble moved the Kent side back to the top of League One.

Dack scored ei­ther side of half time – his third and fourth league goals of the sea­son – to give the Gills a de­served vic­tory over a de­fen­sively-frag­ile Wi­gan side.

And hav­ing amassed ten points from a pos­si­ble 12 thus far this sea­son, Ed­in­burgh at­trib­uted his side’s lofty po­si­tion to his young squad.

“It was a com­plete team per­for­mance,” he said. “As a col­lec­tive we were very good. I’m sure Bradley Dack will get the head­lines as he got the two goals, but over­all there wasn’t a bad in­di­vid­ual per­for­mance, as has been the case this sea­son.

“There are no pas­sen­gers in this group, there’s a great spirit in this young group, and they’ve got a real de­sire to bet­ter them­selves.

“I thought we were al­ways stretch­ing them, and we had some re­ally good chances.”

Pre­dicted by many to fin­ish in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion to last sea­son’s 12th place, Ed­in­burgh be­lieves his side’s start could con­tinue.

He added: “It’s only a start. We’ve got to main­tain that, but the points re­turn so far is fan­tas­tic.

“The group are earn­ing the right to win games and if they con­tinue to do that, who knows where that takes us?”

Dack neatly slot­ted home past Richard O’Don­nell for the opener on 37 min­utes fol­low­ing good play by on-loan Chelsea midfielder Jor­dan Houghton and Rory Don­nelly.

The hosts came close to dou­bling their lead when Luke Nor­ris’s 20-yard strike re­bounded off the post, while only a last-ditch tackle from Craig Mor­gan pre­vented the for­mer Brent­ford striker from slot­ting past O’Don­nell for a sec­ond shortly af­ter half time.

But af­ter for­mer Gills loa­nee Don­er­von Daniels fouled Dack in the box eight min­utes from time, the highly-rated midfielder se­cured the vic­tory with a con­fi­dent penalty kick.

The Lat­ics haven’t won away in the league since March, and strug­gled to cre­ate, with firsthalf chances com­ing through Chris McCann and Will Grigg.

Stu­art Nel­son’s bril­liant re­flex save pre­vented Grigg from con­vert­ing at the back post on 55 min­utes fol­low­ing sub­sti­tute Sean Mur­ray’s cross, in what proved to be the visi­tors’ best chance af­ter the break.

“Had we have scored then, we would have had the mo­men­tum,” said Lat­ics man­ager Gary Cald­well.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed, we came here on the back of a good win and per­for­mance on Wed­nes­day, and we wanted to build on that.

“I thought we were fresh and ready for the chal­lenge.

“Up to the open­ing goal, we didn’t pass the ball well enough. When they scored, we started to pass it like we can.

“That’s a dis­ap­point­ment as we didn’t do it from minute one and im­pose our style of play on them.

“We have to put a string of re­sults to­gether, and that’s the chal­lenge from this group.

“It’s no good do­ing it once ev­ery so of­ten, we have to do it for a num­ber of weeks.”

PIC­TURES: Ken Sparks

SPOT ON: Bradley Dack keeps his cool to score his and Gilling­ham’s sec­ond from 12 yards

CHEER: Rory Don­nelly and Bradley Dack


EY DACK Gillingh


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