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Gillingham boss Martin Allen felt Charlie Lee's sending off was crucial in defeat to Crawley Town

Martin Allen
Martin Allen

Martin Allen was happy with his players’ performance but frustrated at decisions that went against his side.

The Gills manager did, however, recognise that at least two of the Crawley goals were poor ones to concede.

Allen said: “I thought overall it was a good performance and a couple of set plays have cost us dear.

“The payers put in a fantastic effort and it’s disappointing to have lost the game.

“The decision to send off Charlie Lee was crucial and Leon Legge went off injured. They were monumental moments in the game.”

Allen was incensed by the decision of referee Steven Rushton to issue Lee with a second booking. Lee’s red card was made worse by the fact that Crawley equalised from the subsequent free-kick.

“Charlie Lee was shielding the ball out of play and it wasn’t even a foul, let alone a yellow card, it was an unbelievable decision,” blasted Allen.

Lee was filling in at right-back for Michael Harriman, who was away on international duty. His dismissal led to Chris Whelpdale dropping into defence.

Things got worse with 15 minutes left when Leon Legge went off injured. Teenager Devante McKain replaced him.

Allen had already had to make a switch to his side before kick off, as Cody McDonald was ill. He had been due to start but spent the afternoon on the team bus.

“It was tough,” said Allen. “The players adapted well and overall they did a good job for the team and the club. A couple of moments have cost us dear.”

Allen also revealed after the game that Callum Davies missed the game as he asked to go out on loan, to get more game time. 

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