Mark Stimson, the Gillingham manager, said his side had been handed a huge financial boost after a last-minute win over Shrewsbury in the League Two play-off final. Simeon Jackson was the hero when he buried a header from Josh Wright's corner as the game looked set for extra-time.
Gillingham dominated the first half and were only kept at bay by the outstanding Luke Daniels in the Shrewsbury goal, but Paul Simpson's side improved after the interval and looked the more likely to break the deadlock. But Gillingham mounted one last attack and Jackson was left free to squeeze a header inside the post and send the Gills back into League One. The Priestfield Stadium will welcome Leeds, Southampton and local rivals Charlton next season and Stimson is looking forward to the challenge.
He said: "It's massive financially. There are several local teams we can attract and with Leeds, Norwich and Southampton coming down we will have some big gates. We brought over 30,000 fans to Wembley today and we need to attract as many of them as we can every week.
"We had already arranged meetings with some players for next week regardless of what league we were going to be in. We need to improve the squad and we have to try and become a good League One side."
Stimson admitted Jackson could become a transfer target for bigger clubs after his display but is confident of keeping him in Kent. Stimson said: "He's got 21 goals now but we have not had one phonecall about him. I'm sure managers have watched him this season but he would cost a lot of money. He might need another year before he can play in the Championship so I am confident we can keep hold of him.
"When the opportunity came up he was on hand to score and he deserves all the praise in the world... Hopefully he can take this club forward."
Gillingham (4-4-2): Royce; Fuller, Richards, King, Nutter; Lewis, Weston, Wright, Oli; Jackson, Barcham. Substitutes not used: Julian (gk), Bentley, Miller, McCammon, Jarrett.
Shrewsbury (4-4-2): Daniels; D Moss, Langmead, Coughlan, Ashton; Humphrey (Ashikodi, 90), Davies, Murray (Worrall, 74), McIntyre; Holt, Chadwick (Riza, 79). Substitutes not used: Garner (gk), Cansdell-Sherriff.
Referee: C Oliver (Northumberland).Reuse content