Home   Kent   Sport   Article

Gillingham 0 Plymouth Argyle 2: Match reaction from Gills manager Neil Harris

Gillingham boss Neil Harris conceded in-form Plymouth were simply better than his side on the day following their League 1 home defeat on Saturday.

Argyle's Jordon Garrick broke the deadlock before substitute Luke Jephcott converted a penalty, with both goals coming in the second half, to leave the Gills still third-bottom in the table.

The result leaves Gillingham five points from safety while Plymouth, who have won four league matches in a row, are in fifth.

Harris said: "They were better than us, let’s be honest. You can see a team that is 20 months in the making - cohesive, organised, but the difference today was with the ball.

"We looked majorly organised again, gave very little away - certainly in the first half - and then were sucker-punched start of the second half. We gave the ball away cheaply, unopposed, for both goals.

"Look, I've been careful what I've said after games, not to make too many promises. But I've said we will get better - and we will get better.

"Today, the work we showed on the training pitch didn’t materialise with the football and I thought, too often, we gave the ball away unopposed and caused ourselves problems.

"Both goals came from the turnover, which has been very unlike us so far in my time in charge."

Gillingham's Robbie McKenzie takes on Plymouth's Conor Grant during his team's loss to Argyle. Picture: KPI
Gillingham's Robbie McKenzie takes on Plymouth's Conor Grant during his team's loss to Argyle. Picture: KPI

Gillingham were organised at the back in the first period but they fell behind less than a minute after the restart - and never created much impetus of their own.

Harris reflected: "We didn’t build momentum. We didn’t have any continuous play.

"We had two corners, but we didn’t have a chance to use the long throw to put balls in the box. We never really threatened.

"They didn’t cause us too many problems in the first half. Chappy (keeper Aaron Chapman) didn’t have a save to make in the first 45 minutes, the first thing he does is pick the ball out the net. It’s frustrating.

"If you give top-six players in the league opportunities, they are gonna score. I thought the first goal was an exceptional finish.

"Don’t get me wrong, we gave the ball away unopposed and we could do better to stop him from getting (to) where he shoots from.

"But it’s a great finish and, after that, we are chasing the game a little bit, and Plymouth are a sort of counter-attack team that has got the ability to hurt you on the counter-attack - which they did a couple of times.

"Obviously, it only led to one goal but the second goal was a killer punch as well, which never really gave us a chance to attack the Rainham End and really galvanise the crowd and the group."

Ex-Plymouth midfielder Ben Reeves made a welcome return from injury, coming off the bench in the second half, but it was defender Conor Masterson and midfielder Ben Thompson who earned particular praise from Harris.

Harris commented: "I thought Conor was exceptional, certainly our best player - if not the best player on the pitch.

"Ben just showed what he is about, with his energy and his drive and his manipulation of the football, reading the game really well. I don’t think the levels of some of the players dropped too much without the football.

"I just thought, with the ball, that we weren’t good enough. Ultimately, we have to get better over a period of time with that."

The match started at Priestfield in wet and windy conditions, although the challenging conditions had subsided somewhat by the second half.

But Harris was not prepared too use that as an excuse, though.

He stated: "Thank you for asking the question, I’d love to use it as an excuse, but it’s the same for both teams!

"Ultimately, we lost the game because we turned over possession of the football too cheaply. That wasn’t about the conditions, that’s about my side’s poor play."

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More