Lovell: "It was an important three points"

Lovell delighted to see Gills secure three points at home and convert performances into goals and wins

Gillingham manager Steve Lovell was delighted that the Gills managed to secure their first home win since September and that they finally got the goals that their performances of late have warranted and move out of the relegation zone.

Gills beat Bristol Rovers 4-1 on Saturday to clinch their first home league win since mid-September.

The Gills took a two-goal lead into the break after Mark Byrne converted when his initial penalty was tipped on to the post before Alex Lacey scored his first goal for the club. The hosts secured the victory after the break with two quick-fire goals as Josh Parker poked home before Byrne secured his brace with a thunderous volley, an early leader for goal of the season.

Byrne missed a second Gills penalty when Wagstaff was brought down again and Rovers snatched a consolation goal in injury time, but Gillingham claimed all three points that their performance and dominance deserved.

Lovell was pleased with the result but felt that the Gills could have performed better with some mixed spells of football.  

“I’m really happy with the result, but the way we started we could have been a goal down in the first thirty seconds. Tomas Holy kept us in the game.

“After that we changed our formation, and it worked for us. We dominated the game from then and every time we went forward it looked like we had a chance of scoring.

“It was an important three points. I’m pleased for the supporters that they’ve seen a decent performance and four goals, and the players deserve it too because they’ve worked very hard since I came in.”

Mark Byrne scored a brace for the Gills despite seeing his first penalty tipped onto the post before scoring a wonder-goal and then missing the target with his second penalty – his chance for a first career hat-trick.

“Mark has thoroughly deserved that as he’s had opportunities over the past few weeks and it just shows the confidence of the players.

“At that speed and that height, for him to hit it like that – it’s a tremendous strike. The technique needed from a corner with a ball that had him running onto it for the volley like that was superb.

“It’s one of the best goals that I’ve seen here at this stadium. I’m just gutted he didn’t get his hat-trick.”

Finally, Lovell looked forward to the festive period and his desire to get the Gills moving into 2018 on a high.

“It hasn’t been a great calendar year for Gillingham Football Club. It would be nice to finish on a high note and build on it for the New Year.

“We’ve got a lot of games coming up over the Christmas period. Everybody’s going to be needed on the pitch so they’re all going to be given opportunities.

“We’ve moved up a little bit and that’s nice progress. If we can continue this kind of form and performances then we’ll be alright.”