Vadaine Oliver wants team to build on midweek victory.
Gillingham bounced back from last weekend’s FA Cup disappointment with arguably their strongest performance of the season as they brushed aside a strong Bristol Rovers team at the Memorial Stadium on Wednesday.
The Kent side took control of the Sky Bet League One fixture and Vadaine Oliver’s well-taken brace proved to be the perfect tonic with the striker saying, ‘We are looking up again, feeling confident and it is a good feeling.’
Oliver took advantage of a dangerous long ball from Jack Tucker for his first on 27 minutes, outsprinting former-Gills captain Max Ehmer before nonchalantly lifting the ball over Bristol’s stranded keeper.
The on-fire forward made sure of the win, courageously stooping low to execute a precise diving header to double the advantage. His participation in the game looked in doubt after crashing into the post for that crucial second goal, but after medical attention he bravely continued.
Oliver spoke to the media post-match, saying: “It was a great team performance. We needed it and we needed a response and the gaffer made sure of that. We knew it wasn’t good enough against Exeter in the FA Cup. This [against Bristol Rovers] was a real positive performance.
“The first goal was instinctive. I knew the ball was coming over, we said we were going to play it in behind them. I made the run for it and it skipped up in front of me. I have seen the keeper coming out and I’ve just lobbed it over him.
“For the second, it was a ‘buffet-ball’ from Kyle Dempsey, unbelievable. I couldn’t miss, it would have been harder to miss. I took a clattering after; my knees were in bits. It comes with pain, but it was worth it.”
Vadaine had high praise for his teammates and says he is relishing the competiveness between the attacking players, which is helping to bring out the best in all of them.
He said: “We looked solid. I don’t think Bristol caused that much of a threat because of the likes of Connor Ogilvie and Jack Tucker. If they are solid at the back it helps us attackers to go and express ourselves. Our game plan worked perfectly today.
“Me, Dom (Dominic Samuel) and Jordan Graham are all on six goals. We are all chipping in and also assisting. There is a friendly competition. We are all giving it everything. Everyone is pushing and wanting to show what they are capable of. It’s great when you have got that competiveness in the team. It makes everyone up their levels. Long may it continue.
“We did a bit of work on it [the diamond shape] through the week, so we knew what we were going to do. Dom put in a tireless shift today and so did John (Akinde). It just worked well. They couldn’t handle what we gave them.”
Attention now shifts to Saturday’s home meeting with Swindon where Gillingham will have hopes of extending their unbeaten league run to five games, something Oliver says they will have every chance of if they maintain their current momentum.
He said: “The games are coming thick and fast. We have set the standard now, so we need to go again against Swindon and do the same.
“Swindon is going to be a tough game. No game in this league will be easy this season. If we put in a performance like we did tonight then I don’t see why we can’t get three points.”