JUSTIN IS NOT GIVING IN YET
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.”
OPENER: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is mobbed after scoring for Chesterfield TUSSLE: Drew Talbot and Emmanuel Osadebe in action