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League One

Peter Taylor hails Gillingham matchwinner Cody McDonald

8 February 2014

Gillingham manager Peter Taylor hailed prolific striker Cody McDonald after he grabbed his 13th goal of the season to clinch a 2-1 victory over Carlisle United.

Taylor was thrilled with McDonald's continued goalscoring success, this strike was his seventh in his last seven appearances, but his principal praise was for the forward's all-round contribution to the team's first win at Brunton Park in 20 years.

Taylor said: "He looks quick over 10 yards and he doesn't give opposing centre-halves any time. He is playing regularly and enjoying himself and he has been in fantastic form, but he's not just a goalscorer and he's doing a great job for us.

"I like the way Cody took his goal, but he worked his socks off all afternoon. I think the defenders were nervous of him."

McDonald also had a word for McDonald's strike partner, on loan Charlton man Joe Pigott, who netted Gills' first goal just before the interval. "He's a good finisher and he showed it with that goal," he enthused.

Taylor said: "We had a really good chat at lunchtime and I spoke to the players about the importance of getting some away wins. This was the perfect place to get it and I'm delighted for our fans--three points is fantastic for the club and the fans.

"Until we are guaranteed League One survival at least we will carry on working extremely hard and there won't be days off for the players."

It was Gills' first away win since before Christmas and Taylor said: "Carlisle put us under a lot of pressure and were a threat. But we restricted them to few chances."

Gillingham took the lead in the 44th minute when McDonald put the Carlisle rearguard under pressure and Pigott drilled a low shot past debutant keeper Jordan Pickford from 15 yards.

Carlisle piled on the pressure in search of the equaliser, but left themselves short at the back allowing McDonald to profit from a weak Courtney Meppen-Walter back pass in the 88th minute, finding space to slip the ball wide of Pickford.

Carlisle's last-minute goal came from a Leon Legge header which flew in past his own 'keeper.

Carlisle manager Graham Kavanagh refused to be downbeat although his team lost a chance to put some space between themselves and the relegation places.

He admitted: "We dominated most of the game and the defeat was incredible and very cruel. We hit the post and bar and their keeper pulled off saves. They got away with three points while we are left scratching our heads and wondering why.

"I feel the lads should be rewarded for their effort and I am positive we can put it right. Their heads never dropped and overall we were the better team."

Kavanagh was pleased with the performances of his recently acquired on-loan players including Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford who impressed on his debut. "He was outstanding and will become a top class keeper," he said.

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