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Gillingham manager Steve Lovell reacts to their 2-1 defeat at Bury

Manager Steve Lovell admitted his side’s first half display at Bury was their worst since he took over.

The Gills have shown some of their best qualities on their travels since Lovell took over in mid-October but they served up a shocker early on at Bury.

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Conor Wilkinson challenges for the ball Picture: Ady Kerry
Conor Wilkinson challenges for the ball Picture: Ady Kerry

Report: Bury 2 Gillingham 1

Lovell said: “I thought it was most probably the worst 45 minutes since we took over, but you have to give credit to Bury.

"They had a really good go and caused us problems first half. They thoroughly deserved to go 2-0 up at half time.”

A switch in formation helped them improve in the second half but Bury still had chances to extend their lead, with Max Ehmer making a spectacular goal-line block to deny George Miller.

The Gills boss said: “Yes they could have had a couple more goals but last 20-25 minutes we could have.

Home keeper Connor Ripley called into action during the second half Picture: Ady Kerry
Home keeper Connor Ripley called into action during the second half Picture: Ady Kerry

“In the second half, the last 30 minutes, we put pressure on and we had a number of opportunities where we should have perhaps got a point out of the game.

“It wasn’t a very good performance in the first half but you’re not going to perform miracles every weekend. Bury are fighting for their lives and over the 90 minutes I think they deserved their three points.

“The damage was done in the first half by conceding two goals.”

Lovell accepted the referee’s decision after late appeals for a penalty were denied, when Ben Nugent went over in the box, while keeper Tomas Holy almost popped up with a memorable goal, having a stoppage-time shot saved.

“Perhaps he should have scored it!” said Lovell.

“He hit it well but we created a number of opportunities before then, with some good balls into the box and crosses going in.

“We said at half time we needed to forget about that first 45 minutes, we had to start again, we had a go second half and created a number of opportunities but couldn’t take them. It was a 2-1 defeat and Bury deserved it over 90 minutes.”

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