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League One

Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough toasts best win yet

19 February 2014

Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough claims their 1-0 victory over Gillingham was their best of the Sky Bet League 1 season.

The Blades beat Nottingham Forest on Sunday to make it through to the FA Cup quarter-finals and this victory at Priestfield took them out of the relegation zone.

Conor Coady, who scored in the 3-1 triumph over Forest at Bramall Lane, also grabbed the first-half winner against the Gills and Clough was delighted.

"To come here and get a clean sheet and the three points, I think it's probably the best three points of the season," he said.

"It was a brilliant win, and a brilliant second-half performance from us. I didn't think we were too good in the first half, but the manner in which we went about the second half was superb.

"We weren't hanging on, it looked like us who was going to score the second goal and it was a thoroughly deserved victory. That's brilliant, especially when we've made changes to the team.

"I think it should have been more comfortable than it was.

"I don't think (goalkeeper) Mark Howard has had a serious shot to save in the game.

"You're never sure what you're going to get at Gillingham, but we prepared the best we could, and the defenders were good all evening; they gave Gillingham little encouragement."

On-loan Liverpool midfielder Coady scored with a low drive four minutes before the break, seconds after Chris Porter had hit the top of the post from close range.

Porter also had a first-half effort disallowed for offside and Gills skipper Adam Barrett made crucial blocks to stop volleys from Michael Doyle and Harry Maguire either side of half-time.

Gillingham's players believed play should have been stopped in the build-up to the goal, after debutant Ryan Inniss was injured in the box, but boss Peter Taylor disagreed.

"I don't think Sheffield United should have put the ball out," said the Gills manager. "Had it have been a head injury, then 100 per cent, and I'm sure they would have kicked it out.

"But in that situation, they were right to carry on. I think Ryan moved himself off the pitch anyway, so the boys tell me.

"It looked as if we were all over the place in the build-up to the goal because we had an injury.

"It looked to be some silly panic among the players and we should have handled that. I think the ball could have got cleared.

"Since I've been here most times I've said we've let in disappointing goals. We've got to get better at that still.

"The performance first half was good, I don't think we deserved to be 1-0 down. To be fair to Sheffield United they weren't an easy side to play against."

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