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Hess: We were beaten by sucker punch

GILLINGHAM player-manager Andy Hessenthaler was left fuming after his team were knocked out by a "sucker punch" in Saturday's 1-0 defeat by Sheffield United at Priestfield. Michael Tonge's 63rd minute free kick went straight through the wall and keeper Vince Bartram was unable to keep the ball out to give the Blades the points in a game Gills dominated.

It was only the first time in 12 games that the Gills had failed to score but Hessenthaler was still disappointed with the manner of their defeat.He said: "I was disappointed with the goal because it went through the wall and it was a poor goal to give away.

"To see it go right through was joke really because the wall is there to try and block the shot but the ball crept in. It's disappointing to lose in that way. We have only lost three in the last 16 games and we will take a lot from what we have achieved but it was also disappointing that we came away with nothing from the game."

He stressed that Gills lacked a creative spark in the second period to break down the dogged United rearguard. He said: "We said at half-time that we had got to be careful, they had come and made it very hard for us, and defended very well, and we didn't want to get done by a sucker punch - and that's what happened.

"We ran out of ideas in the second half. We huffed and puffed but once the goal went in the heads dropped a little bit and we got frustrated, and probably started to play it a bit too long. That's football and we have gone in the dressing room and looked back over the last few weeks and taken a lot out of what's been going on."

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