The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By James Owens

JUSTIN Ed­in­burgh lauded his Gilling­ham side’s work ethic and ruth­less fin­ish­ing as they won away at Ch­ester­field to move up to third in the League One ta­ble.

The Gills opened the scor­ing through John Egan but the hosts lev­elled nine min­utes later when Rai Si­mons slot­ted into the bot­tom cor­ner to score his first goal for the club.

But af­ter the break Rory Don­nelly headed in Jer­maine McGlashan’s cross to re­store Gilling­ham’s lead and Harry Len­non made the points safe, much to Ed­in­burgh’s de­light.

“We had to be pa­tient, and we had to con­cede pos­ses­sion, which we were happy to do at times,” Ed­in­burgh said.

“But we cer­tainly did the hard part well. I thought we worked tire­lessly and we were pre­pared to go that lit­tle bit ex­tra for one another.

“I think in a game that was quite open there weren’t as many chances as you would have thought.

“But ob­vi­ously, when they came our way, we dis­patched them very well. We were up for the phys­i­cal chal­lenge.

“We were as big as we’ve been phys­i­cally as a group in terms of our height and pres­ence.

“Any­where you go, and cer­tainly com­ing to a place like this, you have to do the hard parts well.”

The Gills opened the scor­ing as Tommy Lee could only palm Bren­nan Dick­en­son’s free­kick de­liv­ery down onto the ground, pre­sent­ing Egan with the sim­ple task of pass­ing the ball into the un­guarded net.

But the hosts lev­elled nine min­utes later when Dan Gard­ner in­ter­cepted a loose ball in mid­field, launch­ing a Spire­ites at­tack which ended with Si­mons cel­e­brat­ing a mile­stone goal.

Ref­eree Ni­cholas Kin­se­ley in­fu­ri­ated the home fans when he took a le­nient view of Bradley Dack’s late tackle on Chris Herd five min­utes be­fore the break, the of­fi­cial keep­ing his cards in his pocket de­spite Herd need­ing treat­ment af­ter Dack’s force­ful chal­lenge.

Stu­art Nel­son’s brav­ery de­nied Syl­van Ebanks-Blake the chance to give the hosts the lead in the dy­ing sec­onds of the half, the Gills stop­per tak­ing a knock to the head as he pounced on low ball to­wards the Spire­ites for­ward from Jay O’Shea.

But the Gills re­stored their lead nine min­utes af­ter the restart when McGlashan swung in a peach of a cross from the right to find Don­nelly, who scored his fifth goal in three games with a thump­ing header into the top cor­ner.

Ed­in­burgh’s men came close to dou­bling the mar­gin twice as the game en­tered its fi­nal 20 min­utes, McGlashan rat­tling the near post from a tight an­gle be­fore Lee par­ried Josh Wright’s lon­grange ef­fort be­hind.

And it was from the re­sult­ing cor­ner that the visi­tors sealed their win, with Wright’s ball back into the box headed back across goal by Egan, and then nod­ded over the line by Len­non.

Spire­ites boss Dean Saun­ders strug­gled to find f aults in his side’s dis­play af­ter they en­joyed 61 per­cent of the pos­ses­sion, but ad­mit­ted his frus­tra­tion at their tar­di­ness in ei­ther box.

“Strangely enough I thought we played much bet­ter than we did at Crewe last week where we got three points,” Saun­ders said. “I thought our football was the best we’ve played this sea­son in terms of the pass­ing of the ball.

“We had some good in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances out there, we just can’t keep the ball out of our net at the minute.

“We had enough play­ers play­ing well to win the game. But football’s like that.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

EGAN FOR IT: Gilling­ham’s John Egan scores their first goal

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