Thursday, April 25, 2024

Stephen Clemence praises ‘fantastic’ Gillingham character after comeback win

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Mar 2024

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Gillingham boss Stephen Clemence praised his side’s “fantastic” character as they twice came from behind to pick up a vital win against play-off rivals Morecambe at the Mazuma Stadium.

The home side took the lead through goals from Jordan Slew and Charlie Brown either side of the break but levellers from Oli Hawkins and Timothee Dieng set up a thrilling finale which saw Connor Mahoney score the winner six minutes from time.

Clemence, whose eighth-placed side had picked up just two points from their previous four games, said: “The character we showed was fantastic to come from behind twice. It was a difficult day and the conditions made it hard for both sides so to win the game in the way we did was fantastic.

“It was a really important win because we have had a few bad games recently and we knew we had to get a result and I’m really proud of the lads today.

“We have definitely been improving going forward in recent weeks but we haven’t done well enough in front of goal or put the ball in the back of the net enough, but today we did.

“The win keeps us in the play-off hunt and if we can stay in the hunt after Easter then we are in among the runners and riders.”

Slew put Morecambe ahead after 11 minutes with a fine low strike from Brown’s neat through-ball but Gillingham hit back soon after as Hawkins produced a good finish after the Morecambe defence failed to clear a dangerous cross.

Brown put the Shrimps back ahead just after the hour when he slid in at the far post to divert Ged Garner’s shot past Glenn Morris.

The Shrimps looked to add to their lead with Slew forcing two good saves from Morris and Garner flashing a fierce shot inches wide.

But it was the visitors who stuck next when Dieng’s hopeful long-range effort squirmed through Archie Mair’s grasp before Mahoney struck the winner after making the most of a poor clearance from the Morecambe keeper.

Morecambe manager Ged Brannan found it difficult to explain away his side’s fourth successive defeat.

He said: “It’s a tough result to swallow really to be honest. We played some great football, passed the ball around well especially in the second half, got ahead twice and cut them open a few times.

“Individual errors proved costly and we lost a game we should have won but we are still not out of the play-off race and if we play like we played today for the rest of the season we won’t be far off and we are not going to give in.

“We have a massive Easter ahead of us now with two derby games and if we play the way we played today in those games we will have a great chance.”

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