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Gillingham 3-1 Stockport County - Stimson praises the Gills' Snowmen PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Coca Cola League One
Saturday 19th December 2009
Mike Green reports from Priestfield Stadium

GILLINGHAM boss Mark Stimson was a happy man on Saturday as the Gills recorded a 3-1 win over bottom of the table Stockport County at Priestfield Stadium.

For the Gills boss though the real heroes of the day were the army of volunteers who cleared an estimated 100 tonnes of snow of the covers on the pitch, which allowed the game to go ahead. 

First half goals from Dennis Oli (his first goal of the season), on loan Manchester united youngster Febian Brandy, and a spectacular third from John Nutter who celebrated his 100th game for the Gills with a stunning volley just past the half hour mark which all in all gave Stimson’s side a 3-0 half time lead, and although County skipper Michael Rose pulled one back midway through the second half, the Gills were always comfortable winner.

A delighted Stimson told the post match press conference, “For us to get a 3-1 result at this level is tremendous – full credit to the boys for going out and doing that in a fantastic first half performance where we scored three goals – all of which are contenders for Goal of the Season.”

He then paid credit to those who made the game possible “First and foremost though, I can’t forget what has gone on here behind the scenes today! I turned up here this morning at 10:00am and we had 25 or so volunteers working their socks off shovelling snow off of the covers – they’ve been part of a very good group who have dug in to get this game on today, and from me to them a big thanks for they’ve helped us and the players to go our there and produce a 45 minutes of football that must have warmed them all up! 

“Without those people though the game wouldn’t have gone ahead and we wouldn’t be sitting here now with three fantastic points. 

“We set ourselves a target for the half waypoint of the season of 25 points and we’re not far off that (this was the Gills 24th league game of the season).” 

The Gills boss continued, “It was a great start and we knew we had to start well and put Stockport on the back foot as they’ve had a poor run of late – we didn’t want them to come here today and get anything so full credit to the players – three great individual goals and if it wasn’t for the keeper it would have been four by half time; to be 3-0, well… that hasn’t happened very often for us this season – maybe they cam out second half and played with no fear and they got in around us but we still created a couple of late chances to add to the tally”

The weather so nearly wrecked the Gills planning for the game as Stimson explained. “We had to cancel training Friday because no one could get in” he said, “and because we changed the pattern this week we weren’t in Thursday either – so to be off Thursday and Friday and come into the game on Saturday isn’t ideal, but the players were all told Friday that the game would be on, but when they turned up I could see a few of them laughing and smiling and thinking “no chance!” but full credit to everyone putting the effort in”

Stimson then told the Press Conference of his, what proved to be unfounded concerns over the state of the Priestfield pitch. 

“The pitch was in great condition – I you worry because the pitch had been under cover since Thursday but I think that the snow and ice in a way did us a favour as it compacted the pitch and made it nice and flat; I think overall it played really well. 

“I was on the pitch on Wednesday afternoon around 2:30 and at that point you wouldn’t have got a game, as it was that hard. 

“And with the forecast as bad as it was, the chairman took it upon himself to get the covers organised – they don’t come cheap either – and because they got the game on it sets up a massive week that I call “Christmas week” so that I can go into my Christmas dinner knowing that we’ve won our last game setting us up nicely for Brentford on Boxing Day and Exeter on the Monday. 

“We’ve got the covers for a couple of weeks which is when we’ve got to make up our minds if we want to buy them – I think that they become mandatory next season – but they certainly got the game played today!”

He had one final word for the Gills fans who braved the biting cold day in Medway “I hope that the supporters go home and enjoy Christmas Day – I really will enjoy my dinner now, and look forward to the Festive period.

Gillingham: Alan Julian, Barry Fuller, Chris Palmer, Kevin Maher, John Nutter, Mark Bentley, Simeon Jackson, Matt Fry, Dennis Oli (Mark McCammon 78), Curtis Weston (Rashid Yussuff 86), Febian Brandy (Jack Payne 80).
Subs: Simon Locke, Tom Wynter, Stuart Lewis, Luke Rooney.

Goals: Dennis Oli 6, Febian Brandy 26, John Nutter 33

Booked: Simon Jackson 76, Matt Fry 84

Stockport County: Owain Fon Williams, John Mullins, Michael Rose, Paul Turnball, James Vincent (Danny Pilkington 63), Greg Tansey, Peter Thompson (Michael Raynes 73), Ollie Johnson, David Poole (Adam Griffin 80), Chris Riberio, Matthew McNeil.
Subs: Michael Raynes, Paul Gerrard, Adam Griffin, Andy Halls, Sam Barnes, Sam Hares.

Goal: Michael Rose 65

Booked: Chris Riberio 25, Michael Rose 32, Matty McNeill 84

Attendance:  4,769
Referee: Mr D Phillips 
Assistants: Mr M Foley & Mr P Knight
Fourth Official:  Mr S Lewis
Last Updated ( Monday, 21 December 2009 )
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