JUSTIN IS NOT GIV­ING IN YET

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Stu­art Ben­son

WOUNDED an­i­mals come back fight­ing – that was the mes­sage man­ager Justin Ed­in­burgh was keen to ham­mer home af­ter Gilling­ham suf­fered their se­cond straight de­feat.

Goals from Syl­van Ebanks-Blake and Lee No­vak mean the Gills are now six points be­hind League One lead­ers Bur­ton Al­bion, with Em­manuel Osadebe’s ef­fort prov­ing to be scant con­so­la­tion.

But Ed­in­burgh is not pre­pared to feel sorry for him­self and in­stead re­mains de­fi­ant.

“For the first time at home we lost our way and just waited for some­thing to hap­pen and inevitably some­thing will hap­pen against you and it did,” said Ed­in­burgh, who saw star mid­fielder Bradley Dack limp off in the first half with a ham­string in­jury.

“Credit to the play­ers be­cause they came out in the se­cond half and gave it a good go, and prob­a­bly de­served to get a draw out of the game.

“Since I’ve been here that’s only my third league de­feat at home and only the se­cond one this sea­son, so of course it hurts but we didn’t go down with­out a fight.

“We’ve got two tough away games now but we’re ca­pa­ble of putting a run to­gether away from home.

“We’re pos­i­tive and the group are hurt­ing from this but I think any an­i­mal that’s wounded will come back fight­ing.”

It all started so well for the Gills. Do­minic Sa­muel was put through on goal in­side the first minute but failed to keep his lofted ef­fort down and Max Eh­mer saw a strike blocked by Ol­lie Banks.

But the dead­lock was bro­ken on 36 min­utes fol­low­ing some ex­quis­ite wing play from Gboly Ariy­ibi down the right-flank and EbanksBlake tapped in the re­sult­ing cross.

Deep into first-half stop­page time the Gilling­ham de­fence af­forded No­vak space and he took full ad­van­tage, blast­ing in from 30 yards to dou­ble his team’s lead at the in­ter­val.

The Gills took con­trol of pro­ceed­ings af­ter the restart and on 52 min­utes Tommy Lee was at full stretch to deny Sa­muel with a header from in­side the box.

The pres­sure told ten min­utes from time when Osadebe pulled one back, but Rory Don­nelly missed a golden op­por­tu­nity min­utes later to level the game with a free header eight yards out.

A se­cond win in a row for Ch­ester­field leaves them three points clear of the drop and boss Danny Wil­son felt his team came of age.

“We’ve shown a bit of naivety in some games, but here we didn’t,” he said. “We showed a true, solid com­mit­ted per­for­mance de­fen­sively.

“We couldn’t come here and pre­tend we’re go­ing to out­play a team ly­ing third in the ta­ble with a great chance of au­to­matic pro­mo­tion. They’re up there on merit and be­cause at home they are very strong. “Through­out the se­cond half we had to de­fend with our lives. “We were for­tu­nate on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions but that’s what good de­fend­ing is about.”

PIC­TURES: Max Flego

OPENER: Syl­van Ebanks-Blake is mobbed af­ter scor­ing for Ch­ester­field TUS­SLE: Drew Tal­bot and Em­manuel Osadebe in ac­tion

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