Sun­day lunch is can­celled for Gills

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP FIRST ROUND - By Nick Bull

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.”


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