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Gills First-Team Coach reacts to victory over Phoenix Sports.

11 October 2017

Steve Lovell pleased to progress in Kent Cup.

Steve Lovell said he was pleased for his players after seeing them prevail on penalties against Phoenix Sports in the Kent Senior Cup on Tuesday.

Jesse Starkey put the Gills ahead on seven minutes only for the visitors to be surprised just before the half-time interval when Ben Allen scored from 30 yards with an excellent free-kick.

Gillingham dominated for long periods during the second half with Darren Oldaker finally making the breakthrough on 80 minutes when his low drive beat Steve Phillips. The game looked to be over but as stoppage time approach substitute Kweku Ansah took advantage of a slight mix up at the back to force penalties after a 2-2 draw.

Phoenix missed their tenth spot kick allowing sub Jack Conway to take the plaudits with the winner.

After the game Steve said: “It was a good game actually all the way through, Phoenix were very competitive and fit and it was tough. We had a lot of youngsters out there and it was good for them and it’s nice obviously to get through.

“I thought the boys created a lot of chances, particularly in the second half. In the first half we were a bit sloppy after the first quarter of an hour when we were all over them.

“It was a good exercise and I’m glad for the boys that they came through because they deserved it.”

Maidstone will host Gills in the next round and Lovell, who played the Stones on a number of occasions during his time at Priestfield, thinks it will be a good occasion.

He added: “Maidstone against Gillingham is a local rivalry with both sets of players and fans wanting to win the game. It will be nice and it will be on the people are looking forward to.”

Highlights will be on YouTube and iFollow shortly.

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