Lovell | "Very happy to be staying up"

Gaffer reacts following late equaliser at the Memorial Stadium.

Steve Lovell paid tribute to his players and coaching staff after seeing his Gills side secure League 1 safety with a 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers.

Elliott List, on as a sub, clinched a draw with virtually the last kick of the game having fallen behind just moments earlier.

The result ensures the club will play League 1 football next season and boss Lovell was pleased for everyone involved.

Speaking after the game he said: “Very happy obviously to be staying up. We knew it would be a tough game coming here to Bristol who are a very good side and there wasn’t much in the game.

“I think at the end of the day perhaps a point was a worthy result, but the main thing was getting over the line and making sure we stay in this league and that’s what we’ve done.

“It’s been an outstanding achievement really by everybody from when we took over in October and we always knew it was going to be tough. It’s taken a while to get over that line but I’m just pleased for everyone with the effort that has been put in.

“They came out today, worked hard, gave everything. At times the quality in the final third wasn’t there, our final ball in the box was poor, our final decision on the ball sometimes was poor, but we know that. We got a point out of it and the thing today was not going into next weekend’s  game against Plymouth having to get a point or having to win to stay in the league.

“Our supporters have been brilliant this season and have supported us through thick and thin. Next week is the last game of the season so we want to go out on a good note; that would round the season off very nicely.

“It is relief; the boys are happy in there and I’m pleased they are because they’ve deserved it. “

In scoring late on, List clinched his first professional goal for the Gills and the gaffer was delighted for the forward who has come close on so many occasions.

He added: “I’m pleased for Elliott; he’s a very good young prospect and when we took over in October he played in the first half a dozen games for us and did very well.

“I said to him that’s probably the most important goal he will score, not just because of what it meant today, but for him to get off the mark and that feeling you get he will hopefully have a lot of in the future.”