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

JUSTIN ED­IN­BURGH shied away from ti­tle talk de­spite Gilling­ham pick­ing up their fourth con­sec­u­tive vic­tory by thrash­ing sorry Brad­ford.

Bradley Dack’s 20-yard strike and Rory Don­nelly’s pre­cise fin­ish gave the Gills a two-goal lead in­side 11 min­utes, be­fore Doug Loft scored in the last minute of nor­mal time.

A late red card for Nathan Clarke com­pounded Brad­ford’s mis­ery, while Gilling­ham are now just a point be­hind League One lead­ers Bur­ton Al­bion.

“We don’t want to get car­ried away,” Ed­in­burgh said.

“Foot­ball is a tough game, but you get crit­i­cised when you get too ex­cited and you get crit­i­cised when you try and play things down.

“It’s a young group with a real vibe and they’re en­joy­ing what they’re do­ing. It’s just a case of try­ing to keep that go­ing, and chan­nel that en­thu­si­asm in the right ar­eas.

“We scored two really good goals and it set us up to be able to man­age the game from there on in.

“We’re well in the hunt for the play-off places and it was a big win to­day with the re­sults around us.”

Ed­in­burgh had named an un­changed side af­ter three straight wins while Brad­ford wel­comed De­vante Cole back into the start­ing line-up for the first time in two months.

The Ban­tams had been in search of their tenth clean sheet of the sea­son, but Dack fired the first shot of the game into the bot­tom right-hand cor­ner af­ter only four min­utes.

And when Don­nelly slot­ted home a one-two pass from Dack in­side the box, the Gills had a two-goal lead which they thor­oughly de­served.

It was nearly three 90 sec­onds later, Don­nelly’s chip cleared off the line by Rory McAr­dle.

The fre­netic pace of the game con­tin­ued and Brad­ford should have had a goal back af­ter 31 min­utes, Kyel Reid pick­ing out Cole seven yards out but his vol­ley flew over the bar.

Af­ter a quiet sec­ond half, Gilling­ham fi­nally grabbed a third as Ryan Jackson found Loft in­side the six-yard box, be­fore Clarke was dis­missed in stop­page time.

And Brad­ford boss Phil Parkin­son ad­mit­ted he would have to re-eval­u­ate his Jan­uary trans­fer plans af­ter con­sec­u­tive de­feats.

“We just didn’t show enough fight, and we were sec­ond best in the open­ing ex­changes,” Parkin­son said.

“I’ve got to work hard now. I’m not happy with the play­ers, I’m not happy with my­self right now.

“Gilling­ham are a good team, we know that, but we’ve got to give our­selves a chance, which we didn’t do.

“There’s go­ing to be a lot of soulsearch­ing this week be­cause for a team to con­cede two goals in eight games then six in two, there’s got to be some­thing wrong. There’s too much of a soft cen­tre. “At the other end, wingers have got to pro­duce chances for strik­ers, and strik­ers have got to work the keeper when they get them.”


HIT­TING HEIGHTS: Doug Loft scores Gilling­ham’s third

MARCH­ING OR­DERS: Nathan Clarke is dis­missed


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