Walsall up to third after impressive win at Gillingham...Jon Whitney hailed his side’s “outstanding” performance after Walsall beat Gillingham 2-1 to keep their automatic promotion hopes alive.
The Saddlers were indebted to goalkeeper Neil Etheridge in the first-half as he produced a fine penalty save from Luke Norris.
But Walsall dominated after the break, with Milan Lalkovic’s curler and Jordy Hiwula’s calm finish deservedly putting them two goals ahead.
Norris replied for Gillingham with a stoppage-time bicycle kick but it proved too little too late as the visitors held on.
Walsall are back up to third in League One – five points behind second-placed Burton but with a game in hand.
“I’m proud because in my long managerial career that’s the best performance!” joked Whitney, who has now won four of his six matches since succeeding Sean O’Driscoll last month.
“It was a huge game and we approached it with belief. I have sensed people doubting us and I hope those people now realise what we are about.
“I said from the start that it’s going to be an up and down season. It is going to go right to the wire but I guarantee my players will give their all.
“I believe in my players and each team I pick I know will perform. We showed what we were about and that was an outstanding performance from by boys.
“I don’t think Gillingham could live with us. I think we passed them off the park, we ran them off the park and the most pleasing thing for me is that we were more physical than them.
“I’m proud of the players and I’m delighted for the fans who travelled.
“And again, the Burton players will be having their tea and biscuits but they won’t taste as nice because we’re hunting them down.”