Gillingham Town hit Ilfracombe Town for six in display that shows squad’s strength
GILLINGHAM Town showed just how potent their squad is at full strength against Ilfracombe Town, according to their manager.
The Dorset outfit thumped the Devonians 6-0in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division, boasting both a formidable defence and attack at Hardings Lane.
Jack Vallis returned from injury to partner available-again Rus Alin-Yaler at the back, whilst experienced striker Pete Knox played his first game since signing in November alongside hot shot Lee Gale and young gun Aaron Rodriguez.
Gale shrugged off a spell of poor form to round the keeper for a seventh-minute opener, before doubling his tally three minutes later.
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Knox slammed home from close range on 12 minutes, chipping the keeper for his second soon after.
Rodriguez beat his marker to get in on the act before the half hour mark, Gale sealing his hat-trick after the break.
Gillingham boss Adrian Foster said: “We had bodies back available, which made the difference. I had a squad with five players on the bench who are all capable of playing first team football.
“We took our chances, we worked hard and gave them nothing. The score could have been considerably more. It was nice to get the three points as 1-0 and a clean sheet was what I originally wanted.
“If we can keep the squad available every week, avoiding injuries, suspensions and make sure people don’t have other things on then we will cause teams problems.”
Foster hailed the impact of Knox, whose physical approach took a responsibility from Gale that he believed has taken the edge off the striker’s game.
“We looked strong and what we have lacked this season is that performance up front where people are putting their head in, getting in defenders faces and upsetting them. Pete does it naturally and that allowed Aaron and Lee to do their jobs whilst someone else did the donkey work. But his job is a nightmare and until he is available every week we are going to rely on Ben Thomson.
“There has been a lot of pressure on Lee because he hasn’t been scoring but perhaps that’s because he has been doing that work he’s not used to.”