Sunday lunch is cancelled for Gills
GILLINGHAM boss Justin Edinburgh summoned his players to a Sunday team meeting after his side’s “unacceptable” defeat against League Two strugglers Stevenage.
With just one league victory in ten, and off the back of a 5-1 home defeat against Oxford United last week, Boro raced into a two goal lead inside 30 minutes thanks to goals from Steven Schumacher and former Gill Chris Whelpdale.
On-loan striker Armand Gnanduillet completed the scoring in stoppage time to compound the League One high-flyers’ misery.
“That was unacceptable – I’m bitterly disappointed,” said Edinburgh. “I didn’t see that coming and it can’t happen again. I’ve not had anything like this in my reign at the club.
“We’re all accountable, the players and I, and it won’t be happening again.
“We’ll come in on Sunday; we’ve got a lot of answers to find. There’s always things that have to be addressed and this one can’t linger. I don’t buy into the ‘bad day at the office’; we’ll get to the facts of why and then prepare for the next game.”
After Ben Kennedy had come close for Boro with a curling effort, Schumacher fired home from 20 yards following a well-worked short corner in the thirteenth minute.
The hosts, who sit 42 places below their rivals in the league pyramid, doubled their advantage on 29 minutes when Whelpdale headed through a crowded penalty area from Dean Parrett’s deep corner.
Gillingham, who haven’t progressed to round two since the 2012/13 season, almost got back in the game with eight minutes remaining as Rory Donnelly’s close-range shot was brilliantly saved by substitute goalkeeper Chris Day, who had only just replaced the injured Jesse Joronen.
Gnanduillet completed the rout in stoppage time having gone through on goal with team-mate Parrett, before Emmanuel Osadebe almost grabbed a late consolation for the visitors as he hit the bar in stoppage time.
However, Boro boss Teddy Sheringham downplayed the prospect of coming up against Salford City in round two, the club owned by some of his former Manchester United team-mates. “A couple of people have said that,” he joked.
“A home tie for me would do great. Let’s enjoy this one for a couple of minutes first!
“We came out the blocks, they didn’t and we took advantage of that. It gave us a leg-up in the game and that’s exactly what we would have asked for.We kept going from there.
“We’re still building. I didn’t enjoy last week against Oxford but sometimes you have to be smacked in the face with certain things, and I showed them what was going wrong. It was much, much better.”
STAR MAN DEAN PARRETT Stevenage