GILLINGHAM manager Steve Lovell admits Slough Town gave his side one of their hardest matches of the season during the 1-0 FA Cup win Sunday, writes Rob Stevens.

The League One side won the second round tie at Arbour Park thanks to a 30-yard wonder strike from Darren Oldaker three minutes after half-time.

However, the Gills were put under immense pressure at times by their lower-league hosts and Lovell is relieved not to be on the wrong side of a cup shock.

He told the Observer: "The boys dug in and I said to the Slough managers all credit to them, they've given us most probably one of the hardest games we've had this season. The way the came at us, put us under pressure and stopped us from playing.

"I'm just delighted for the boys because they defended very well, and we had to, plus there was a great goal that won it.

"We had a couple of opportunities were perhaps we could've added to it but we came here to win the game. How you do it in the FA Cup doesn't really matter. We've come here and got a result and that's all the matters.

"Slough put crosses into the box which we defended very well. I don't think Tomas Holy actually had that many saves to make, but we defended really well and worked hard as well. That's what it's all about.

"You've got to dig in, keep clean sheets and if you can nick a goal you win games. That happened on Sunday and if someone had told me in the morning you're going to win 1-0 I would've taken.

"It's a result and we're through to the third round and that's all that really matters.

"You've got to give Slough credit for the effort that they've put in. They put us under immense pressure, especially in the first-half.

"Slough started the game very strong and I thought we were poor in the first-half. We never retained the ball but in the second-half we did a little bit better and got them on the counter-attack.

"It's a 1-0 win and we're in the hat for the third round now and that's all the matters."

Lovell continued: "Darren was one of the players I had a go at during half-time. I didn't think he was stamping his authority on the game, even for a young man at 19 he should be doing it if he's going to go anywhere.

He popped up with the goal so obviously he listens. It was a great strike and we all know he's capable of that. It's a really good goal to win the game.

"I don't care who we get in the next round, I'm just going to enjoy this one because we knew how hard it was going to be.

"You're on a hiding to nothing when you come to the non-league grounds. I've been in the position before at Gillingham where we've lost games against non-league opposition so you know what you're going to get. People expect us to win and the onus is on us to do that.

"It was like an FA Cup final for Slough. To win the game would be a massive shock but they haven't, and hopefully we can now move on from this.

"Results have really turned around for us and given some confidence to the players.

"When you get your squad back fully fit it helps but Sunday was a different type of game. It was a one-off and as we know from the past anything can happen.

"We just didn't want that anything to happen and fortunately we've avoided it. Overall the boys have put in a great shift and we won the games so happy days."

Slough joint-manager Jon Underwood commented: "Steve said it was the toughest match they've had this season which is crazy really when you think of some of the sides in their league, but he was very complementary.

"After 30 minutes or so, I think they would've been quite happy to take us back to their place. I think he knows that they certainly weren't the better side.

£He's praised his defenders and rightly so. I thought the number of balls we put into the box, they did defend them well, so you have to give them praise.

"It wasn't like it was one-way traffic, they're obviously a decent side, but he was very complimentary which is nice to hear and he was like that from the minute he got here so fair play."