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Defeat dashes Gillingham defender Barry Fuller's hopes of a happy return to former club AFC Wimbledon

It proved to be a disappointing return to his former club for Gillingham defender Barry Fuller.

The 35-year-old was substituted late in the game at AFC Wimbledon and received a standing ovation from the home fans – still appreciative of his efforts after captaining them to promotion – but the Gills man left the ground frustrated.

Barry Fuller and assistant boss Paul Raynor in discussion with referee Kevin Johnson at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday Picture: Ady Kerry
Barry Fuller and assistant boss Paul Raynor in discussion with referee Kevin Johnson at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday Picture: Ady Kerry

He said: “We probably controlled nearly the whole game and went away with a 1-0 loss so it was a tough one to take.

“We need to learn from it and we need to be more ruthless. We had so many chances, especially first half.

“We should have won the game but we didn’t take those chances; they had one and took it.

“It’s got them three points and we’ve gone away with nothing.

“We had enough chances to win a couple of games but that‘s football – if you don’t take them you get punished.

“We were frustrated and down about the result but we have to keep ourselves positive and hopefully we can put it behind us.”

Fuller hopes hard work will help rectify Gills’ problems in front of goal.

He said: “We know we have to take those chances at this level, if you don’t you get punished and that’s what has happened.

“We have to work harder in training because we haven’t come away with a win. We’re not doing our job properly all over the pitch to finish teams off and take those chances.

“There are positives to take but we know we have to work hard in training and hopefully we can rectify putting the ball in the back of the net.”

Fuller has made more than 500 league appearances – as well as playing a couple of seasons in the Conference with Stevenage – with the majority of those games coming during spells with the Gills and Dons.

He has captained both teams to play-off success at Wembley.

Speaking about the reception he got on Saturday, he said: “It was amazing and really pleasing. It was quite flattering.

“I have loved my time at both football clubs and both will live long in the memory and my heart when I do retire.

“The two clubs have been a massive part of my career.”

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