Tom Eaves scores a hat-trick at Priestfield in Gills final league fixture.
Gillingham Manager Steve Lovell was a happy man as he spoke to the media after his side put five past Plymouth Argyle in the final home game of the Sky Bet League One season, their biggest haul of the year.
A Tom Eaves hat-trick sandwiched in between Josh Parker’s opener and a super strike from substitute Ellliott List – his second in consecutive games – powered the Gills to victory despite goals from Grant and Bradley pegging back the hosts.
In the May sunshine, Priestfield was in party mood and Lovell was thrilled that his team rose to the occasion to secure the three points after a long season that was given life following his appointment back in October.
“It’s a brilliant win. It was five and it could have been a lot more with the chances that we had.
“We’ve known all along that we can play. We started very bright and it helps when you go in front. It was great to finish the season on a high – to score five goals here is a great achievement.
Lovell was full of praise for hat-trick hero Tom Eaves but is hopeful that there is more from his top-scorer next season and also reserved praise for Elliott List after his late goal.
“[A hat-trick] is a tremendous feeling. He can get better – I’ve told him and I’ve given him a few rollockings but there is more to come from him.
“Tom has had a brilliant, brilliant season for us but I’m expecting better for him next season. He could have had more than that and next year we’ll be striving for it.
“I’ve always said if Elliott gets one, he’ll go on to get a few. He’s got pace, he’s got power and he can finish. As soon as he went through at the end I knew he was going to score. He works in hard in training too, he stays out with the rest of them at the end and works on his finishing.”
The end of the season does not mean a holiday for Lovell and the Gills manager is already looking forward to adding to his squad and the start of the next season.
“It’s a busy time now for me. They players can go off, and quite rightly so, but there’s a job for me to build now.
“We have a great dressing room, but if we can add a number to the group to strengthen the squad I think next year we’ll come out fighting and have a go.”