Gillingham head coach Ady Pennock was left immensely proud of his players and relieved to see the Gills clinch three vital points at home to Bristol Rovers
on Friday and move into 17th place, four points clear of the relegation zone.
After a goalless first half, Josh Wright gave the Gills the lead mid-way through the second half as he powered home a loose ball following a dangerous long throw, but the home side were pegged back ten minutes later when Billy Bodin converted a penalty for Rovers.
However, in a highly dramatic finale, Cody McDonald
gave Gillingham the lead in the 90th minute with a brilliant run and thumping finish before the striker scored his second deep into injury time to send the Rainham End into ecstasy.
Pennock sprinted down the touchline to celebrate with his players as the third goal hit the net and he was left to reflect on a crucial win however he insisted that the job was not complete until the Gills are mathematically safe.
Pennock on…Gillingham’s performance and character: “The first half was cagey and I thought both teams nullified each other. We stayed in the game and showed a bit of quality at the end.
“What was great, was our character [after Bristol Rovers equalised]. We didn’t let our heads go down and everybody put a shift in.
“I didn’t think we had much luck today but we earned our luck through hard work and team spirit.”
Pennock on…the post-match huddle on the pitch: “I told them how proud I was of them. They deserve all of the applause and all of the accolades they got out there.
“Everybody deserves a lot of pat on the backs. The boys fully deserved it, and I promise you we won’t take our foot off the gas.”
Pennock on…Cody McDonald’s goals:
“The first goal he scored is out of nothing, it was top drawer, and the second one wasn’t bad either. They were two special goals, and he fully deserves all the credit that is given to him.
“He’ll be on a high going into Charlton
which is great for us. I think I pulled my hamstring [running down the touchline to celebrate]!”
Pennock on…Easter Monday’s derby at Charlton and the relegation battle: “We’re not safe yet. We’ve got to go to Charlton a get a result there.
“It’s three massive games to go for us now, but we’ve got to professional and take this momentum on to Charlton.
“It’s an ideal game for us, being a local derby and we’re taking over 2,000 fans. If we win and results go our way we’ll hopefully be safe.”