Published: 22:00, 04 February 2014
Peter Taylor was proud to see his side battling on through adversity against Stevenage.
The Gills boss wasn’t impressed with the way his side went 2-0 down and had a player sent-off but had no grumbles with the way they responded.
He said: “I am proud of the way the players kept going because it was a difficult evening.
“Of course, it was a disappointing first goal for us to concede. It wasn’t good defending. We then get a man sent off early.”
Hewitt dismissed for handball after blocking a certain goal on the line. Stevenage scored their opening goal from the resulting penalty.
“It was a correct decision by the referee and the wrong decision from Elliott,” Taylor added.
“He should have let it go in because at that early stage if he lets it go in, there is still time and you have 11 men to recover.
“It made it a difficult night but I thought the players kept going, which I was impressed with and again we had enough chances. Cody McDonald could have had four goals. In that respect, I am proud of them.”
Despite going a man down and conceding a second before the half-hour mark, Taylor remained confident his team could cause problems.
He said: “We felt as if we could have got a goal back. Then all of a sudden it might ask more of a question.
“Stevenage could have relaxed, of course. They would have been confident against 10 men but when you get a goal back, you then see if there are any nerves that come into it.
“Our players kept going and there were some good performances. There were also a few frustrating things that we have to improve on.”
Taylor waited until half-time before making changes, with the Gills still 2-0 down. Adebayo Akinfenwa was sacrificed for Michael Harriman, who filled the gap in defence which was left by red-card victim Hewitt.
Taylor said: “There was a thought about making a change (straight away) but Connor Smith did OK in that (right-back) position.
“I know maybe he was at fault a little bit for their second goal but he’s not a right back and he was doing us a favour there.
“Of course, you can make your substitutions straight away but that doesn’t necessarily work either. Only the experts get those substitutions right.
“The boys hung in there, simple as that. In the end, they could have got something but Stevenage played some good stuff.”
Taylor made the surprise decision to rest both Harriman and captain Adam Barrett, confirming after that he felt both were tired. Both started on the bench.
Amine Linganzi – who impressed at the weekend – missed out of the squad completely, after suffering from tendonitis.