Gills boss happy with second pre-season win following victory at Longmead Stadium

Justin Edinburgh says every game matters as the Gills prepare for the new league season.

The Gills defeated Tonbridge Angels 2-1 on Saturday afternoon in a game which was played in the memory of Junior Dian who sadly passed away earlier in the week.

John Egan scored late on with Luke Norris getting the other in a strong display.

Speaking afterwards Justin said: “The opposition were well drilled, compact and they made it difficult. It was a very good workout.

“We didn’t start very well in the first half but we did well in the second half. There are some real positives to take out.

“Every game is important, winning breeds confidence and it’s a good habit. You don’t want to be drawing or getting beat, we have worked hard on the training ground and the boys have been fantastic and it’s been rounded off with two positive results.

“We want to win every game we play and for me that’s obvious.”

One disappointment to come out of the game was an injury to Josh Hare who was stretchered off after 20 minutes and the Manager conceded that the early signs were not good.

He added: “Extremely disappointing, first and foremost for the lad because he’s worked tremendously hard to get himself fit. He did well on Tuesday night and was looking good again today.

“On first news it doesn’t look too promising, it looks like a reoccurrence of the previous injury and it’s a big blow, I feel for him.

“That’s the side of Football people don’t see and it does test you mentally but hopefully we can get the scan in pretty quickly and diagnose it.”

Ryan Edwards played the entire 90 minutes – the midfielder is currently on trial at Priestfield and Justin said further discussions will now be had to see if the player remains at the club.

He said: “He is someone who has played in a few games for Reading in the Championship and he was recommended to us. We felt it was a good opportunity for us to have a look at him in a whole game as Doug Loft had a sore calf.

“There will be discussions between me and the player and we’ll see where we go.”

Finally Justin touched on what was an emotional occasion at Longmead Stadium as both sets of players held a minute’s applause for Junior Dian.

Members of his family were in attendance and Tonbridge put together a memorial for him, where supporters could lay tributes and mark their respects.

He said: “Incredibly sad, it’s a devastating blow for the young man, his family and Tonbridge. I was made aware that it’s not the first time that something like this has happened at the Football Club.

“The amount of money that is in Football and that can’t filter down for young semi-professional players to be screened, I just find it hard to understand and comprehend.

“We’ve lost a life. Today was a fitting tribute, it was a very good game and we marked our respect before the match with a wreath.

“Everyone has conducted themselves immaculately; the memorial that they have opened for him and the applause was fitting.”