Football - Allen stunned by Fish strike

Gillingham boss Martin Allen admitted no-one was more shocked by Matt Fish's thunderous first-half winner than him as the Kent club extended their lead at the top of npower League Two with a 1-0 triumph over Accrington.

PA Sport
Football - Allen gracious in defeat
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Martin Allen has been delighted with Gillingham's performances this season

The 24-year-old right-back netted the only goal of the game in the 24th minute with a fierce left-footed strike from the edge of the box that cannoned in off the underside of the bar. Accrington could only muster half-chances from Peter Murphy and Francis Jeffers in response as leaders Gillingham took full advantage of the depleted League Two fixture list.

They are now eight points ahead of second-placed Port Vale and Allen admitted not even he expected Fish to deliver the winner as he begins to dream of promotion.

"I've never even seen Matt kick it with his left foot but then he nearly broke the crossbar," said Allen. "(It was an) Unbelievable shot, went in like a missile. And what a great moment that was for him, he's been fantastic this season and he keeps getting better and better. He's a top lad on and off the field.

"It's the players that deserve all the credit, they've been absolutely fantastic since day one. I thought we were absolutely fantastic in the first half. I've been waiting 17 years for this. I've always been the mad dog fighting to keep clubs out of relegation and all of a sudden we're looking into what could be a fantastic Easter.

"It's been unbelievable for me personally. I've been lucky enough to get some clubs into the play-offs but to be top of the league by eight points, I have to pinch myself."

Accrington, meanwhile, still sit just one place and two points off the bottom two following their defeat but boss Leam Richardson admits they can ill afford any more defeats if they are to avoid the drop.

"We feel we should be coming home with at least a point. It's frustrating because I want to praise the lads, especially in the second half I thought we were outstanding," said Richardson. "The goal has killed us and it's a great goal to be fair but the onus is on us, we've got six games to go that are must win.

"It's about results and I'm disappointed but the lads put a massive shift in. You could see the belief because we are a good team and we've given a good account of ourselves.

"But compliments aren't going to keep us out of the relegation places, we need to win games. Coming off the back of a couple of good results and performances we really fancied our chances. We were full of confidence playing against the top of the league and at times we played them off the park."

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