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Gillingham coach Andy Hessenthaler reacts to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy area final exit at Bristol City

Peter Taylor is axed and Andy Hessenthaler takes over with three other coaches as caretaker manager
Peter Taylor is axed and Andy Hessenthaler takes over with three other coaches as caretaker manager

Andy Hessenthaler was delighted with his team’s performance at Bristol City - even though the result meant the side’s Wembley hopes were over.

The Gills drew 1-1 with the League 1 title challengers but went down 5-3 on aggregate in the Johnstone’s Paint area final.

“I was very proud of the boys,” said the Gills coach.

“I thought they were terrific. We started off a little bit slow but then gradually grew into the game.

“We passed the ball really well and had some good combination play all over the pitch.

“We told the players they were a credit to the football club. It wasn’t an easy place to go and without doubt they are the best team in the league.”

The Gills let in an early goal, headed in by Matt Smith.

“We just had to keep going after that,” Hessenthaler said.

“We had to keep believing. We got a lovely goal back, worked the ball really well and it was a good finish from Glash. We then got on top.”

A good save from Frank Fielding denied Doug Loft from putting the Gills 2-1 up before the break.

“Lofty perhaps should have scored,” said Hessenthler.

“But credit to their keeper, It was a good save. We didn’t want half time to come because we were the team who were on top.”

McGlashan was also denied by Fielding early in the second half.

Hessenthaler said: “If that goes in it would have been a nervy time for them and we would have got momentum.It didn’t but we couldn’t have asked for any more from the boys.

“We have to come up again in the league and that will be the fifth time we have played City.We can come up here full of confidence that we can get something.”

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