Eaves | "I thought we were terrific"

Gills top scorer praises team for performance at Sunderland.

Striker Tom Eaves was delighted to get back on the scoresheet, as he netted his 17th goal of a productive season, but left the Stadium of Light disappointed as Gillingham slipped to a 4-2 at the hands of the promotion chasing Black Cats.

Gills fell behind early on but responded immediately in the north east as Eaves showed good composure to bring them level. After falling behind once more, Brandon Hanlan levelled to make it 2-2 but two second half penalties proved to be decisive as the Gills lost out on Tuesday evening.

Speaking after the game Tom said: “It’s disappointing because we felt like we were right in the game. Unfortunately, we were sloppy with our set plays but overall, I thought we were terrific, especially in the first half. We should be pleased with what we did, and we should hold our heads high coming away from here, because it is a difficult place to play. “

Sunderland included new four million pound signing Will Grigg in the starting line-up, and Eaves was pleased with how the Gills dealt with the impressive Sunderland outfit and praised the impact of the new loan signings.

“They (Sunderland) are a good side, and they are where they are for a reason. It’s frustrating because we are pleased with the performance but disappointed with the result. The more we play with the new signings, the better the chemistry will be. They’ve come in and made the transition well.”

Eaves netted his first goal from open play in 2019 when he rounded Jon McLaughlin inside the box and tucked in to the net, to draw the Gills level inside the first six minutes.

The forward said: “I couldn’t really take it first time, I took it across the keeper and then managed to swivel around and tuck it in. I thought Brandon was excellent tonight and he thoroughly deserved his goal, he works so hard and he is such a powerful player. We are very fortunate that we’ve got a good selection of forwards.”

Gillingham were roared on by over 300 fans at the Stadium of Light and Eaves explained how his goal was extra special: “It was a fantastic effort (from the fans), I couldn’t believe how many people had actually come up and my family were up there too, so it was a bit of an extra special celebration for me. I’m gutted we couldn’t get the win for them.”