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Gillingham boss Steve Lovell on their 2-1 defeat to Oxford United in the Checkatrade Trophy

By Luke Cawdell

Gills boss Steve Lovell rued the decision that cost his side their chance of seeing off Oxford United on Tuesday night.

The game was evenly balanced when Josh Parker’s vicious shot hit the woodwork, bounced down over the line and then came out.

Referee Charles Breakspear, without the benefit of goal-line technology or television replays which showed the ball over the line, played on.

Frustration for Josh Parker as his second-half effort is ruled out Picture Gary Browne

Frustration for Josh Parker as his second-half effort is ruled out Picture: Gary Browne

Lovell said: “It’s a goal. It’s a good yard over the line, it’s not even close, that’s the disappointing thing.

“The referee does have a hard decision, it is hard for them to spot it and the linesman, but that is what they are there for and that has cost us the game, basically.

“We are asking forwards to score goals and get the ball in the back of the net but when they do it’s taken away from them. It’s very disappointing.”

But Lovell, not one for criticising officials, did add: “You can’t blame the officials, it is hard for them. Unless you have the technology that goal would never have been given.

“It is disappointing but that is the way it is.”

A goal for Parker would have been richly deserved, said the Gills boss.

“That goal would have topped off a great performance for him,” he said.

“It is a goal, for me, he has done everything he could to get that man-of-the-match award (voted on by the sponsors). He is a handful and he did well up there.”

Lovell wasn’t putting their 2-1 defeat all down to that one incident, as his side missed a host of early chances and conceded twice.

He said: “In the first 20-25 minutes we had three or four very good opportunities, which we should have taken.

“I was disappointed with the two goals (conceded), both similar. We didn’t get out and close the players down quick enough, which we did for most of the game, but on those two occasions we didn’t and they score. It’s fine margins.” 

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