Neil Harris reacts as Gills come from behind to seal a place in the third round of the FA Cup.
Freezing conditions, five goals, a red card, a cracking last minute-winner, summersault celebrations and all under the glare of the TV cameras; this was a proper FA Cup game.
Neil Harris’ men valiantly fought back after trailing Dagenham & Redbridge in what proved to be a nail-biting see-saw encounter. The Gills ultimately triumphed 3-2 on Thursday, with the winner coming deep into time added on which Harris described as a ‘moment of real quality.’
“I thought we had the better chances over the 90 minutes,” reflected the Gillingham manager. “We deserved to win the game.
“I thought we were the better team and then I thought we went to another level when the subs came on, they made a real impact.
“I’m pleased that the supporters had some excitement. I thought the conditions helped the game, in the sense that there was a lot of turnovers. The ball was freezing because of the grass and when you tried to control it the ball would slip, we realised that in the warm-up. I said to the boys it might be the team that makes the least mistakes that goes on to win this one.
“We made a poor mistake for their second goal but it didn’t cost us in the end. Cup football is about getting through to the next round, that is all that matters. We are through and that’s the main thing.
“The winning goal was a real moment of quality and a deserved way of winning the cup tie. It was a moment deserving of playing a Premier League team in the next round. We now get to look forward to Leicester here in January.”
Attention now switches back to the Sky Bet League Two and Harris is hoping his sides’ impressive cup form can now translate into much-needed league points.
“It should give everyone confidence when you score three goals in a game,” said Harris. “We also had numerous opportunities to score more goals.
“We need to follow this finish with a start against Bradford on Sunday. Once we do that again and again, we will start winning games of football. We want to get the fans excited to watch this team again. It’s a snowball effect.”