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Lovell: "Credit to the defenders"

Gills boss happy to extend unbeaten run.

25 November 2017


Lovell: "Credit to the defenders"

Gills boss happy to extend unbeaten run.

25 November 2017

Gills take a point in entertaining game at home to Oldham.

Gillingham manager Steve Lovell was pleased that his team managed to secure a point against Oldham Athletic in an entertaining, end-to-end game – his first at MEMS Priestfield Stadium as permanent boss.

Both sides had plenty of chances to win the game, particularly in the second half. Mark Byrne did superbly to clear off the line after Menig had rounded Tomas Holy, before Luke O’Neill was desperately unlucky to see a free-kick in injury time cannon off the bar to ensure the full-time result was 0-0.

Firstly, Lovell delivered an update on Lee Martin who was stretchered off the pitch with a head injury in the first period.

“[Lee Martin’s] fine. [The hospital visit] was a precautionary matter, it’s nothing serious at all.

“He had a bit of blurred vision which we were quite concerned about so the doctors have taken the precaution to put the brace on.

“He was down in the dressing room at the end of the game with the boys, shaking everybody’s hand and saying well done. He’s a great captain, a great leader and a great person to have around the football club.”

In a thrilling game, Lovell thought that a point was a fair result and was pleased that his side kept a clean sheet against the free-scoring Latics and their key marksman, Eoin Doyle.

“You have to give credit to the defenders today. We did well to defend against them and keep a clean sheet because they are one of the top scorers in the league.

“Having said that, I’d like us to tighten up – I think we were a little bit too open.

“Doyle is a championship player, but he didn’t get a goal today. If you don’t take your chances, you keep a clean sheet and take something out of it.

“They sat really deep because they knew that we would hit them in behind. We thought exactly the same thing – Doyle is sharp and quick – so it was a game of cat and mouse which stretches the midfield.”

The front duo of Tom Eaves and Conor Wilkinson caused Oldham constant problems up top. Lovell was pleased with their contribution and even thought Wilkinson should have been awarded a penalty in the first half.

“I thought Tom and Conor played well together. Conor won a lot of headers and Tom played off him well.

“Tom causes centre-halves problems and he doesn’t get his fair share of free-kicks that’s for sure. Conor grew into the game and he’s done well in the last three matches.

“I thought it was a penalty. [The Oldham defender] didn’t see him coming, Conor’s got the ball and then he’s kicked [Conor], but they even themselves up over the course of the season.”

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