Martin Allen paid tribute to his Gillingham side after seeing his 10 men hold out for a 1-0 victory over Southend at Priestfield on Tuesday.
The Gills had teenager Bradley Dack sent off in first-half injury time for a lunge on Mark Phillips, minutes after the youngster had won Gillingham a penalty when he was brought down by Ryan Cresswell.
Danny Kedwell dispatched the spot-kick for his seventh goal of the season, but after that it was a case of desperate defending for the home side in the League Two encounter.
"The players, the supporters and all the staff have done well," said Gills boss Allen. "What a night it was. Having one of our better players (Charlie Lee) injured early on and another sent off was tough.
"In the second half it was backs to the wall but we defended rigidly, the goalie made some good saves, the whole side defended and they all worked hard for a great win.
"We had a young team out and it was a great atmosphere and that is one of the teams who will probably be in the play-offs so it is a good result. Everyone to a man stood their ground and battled right to the end and I am very proud of them."