GAVIN Tomlin fired Southend United back to winning ways by scoring the only goal of the game in Saturday’s 1-0 victory against Chesterfield — but his future at the club remains unclear following interest from Gillingham.
Tomlin’s strike at the Proact Stadium was his 15th goal of the season.
However his fine form has now caught the eye of the Gills.
“Gillingham are very keen on bringing Gavin in and have had an offer turned down,” said a source close to the club.
Tomlin, whose contract at Roots Hall expires at the end of the season, enjoyed a successful loan spell with the Kent club towards the end of last season.
He eventually opted to join Blues, but at the weekend he was keen to play down his role in Southend’s hard fought triumph against the Spireites.
Tomlin slotted home in the 83rd minute to secure the win.
However, that came after Blues had been forced to survive sustained spells of Chesterfield pressure.
And Tomlin therefore insisted on praising the rest of his team as they ended a run of six games without a victory.
“It was a fantastic feeling to get the goal but it was a great effort from the whole team and you have to really give the credit to our defenders,” said Tomlin.
“The back four all did well and Smithy (Paul Smith) in goal pulled off a couple of really good saves to help us get a really good result against another strong side.”
The victory pushed Southend back in to seventh — the final play-off position — in the League Two standings.
And it also came after Tomlin shook off an ankle problem to take his place in the team.
“I had missed training on Wednesday and Thursday and was feeling the ankle a bit in the warm up, but I was always going to play,” said Tomlin.
“It was fine once the game actually started and it was good to be able to get a goal to win us the game.”
The fine finish was Tomlin’s 15th goal of the season and came after he had gone six matches without working his way on to the score sheet.
The striker celebrated by running into the Southend supporters behind the goal.
But Tomlin claimed that had been down to his momentum.
“I couldn’t stop myself from running and ended up going up in to the stand, where I got mobbed,” said Tomlin.
“The referee agreed with that too, but he said he had no option but to book me.
“However, the goal also came at a good time for us as it didn’t give Chesterfield much time to come back.”
The win delighted Blues boss Paul Sturrock, who was full of praise for his team’s determination.
“The lads were terrific in their work rate and I’m delighted for them that they’ve got back to winning ways because it was important,” said the Scotsman.
“Their confidence has been a bit low recently because we haven’t had the luck and we’ve suffered some disappointing defeats, but that game has put us back in it.
“We’ve said how the league is our priority, so it was vital that we got back to winning ways and now we can take that confidence into the Oxford game on Saturday.