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Gillingham 0 Bradford 2: Match highlights and reaction from head coach Stephen Clemence’s after League 2 defeat at Priestfield

Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence was disappointed to see standards slip on Saturday but was on the wrong side of some big decisions too.

Clemence accepted his Gills team didn’t play as well as he was expecting - as they went down 2-0 at home - but was frustrated that a goal was ruled out by the officials at nil-nil and a “stonewall” penalty decision was waved away late in the game.

Stephen Clemence was frustrated at the performance of his Gillingham team and decisions from the match officials Picture: @Julian_KPI
Stephen Clemence was frustrated at the performance of his Gillingham team and decisions from the match officials Picture: @Julian_KPI

Report: Gillingham 0 Bradford 2

The Gills boss said: “They have had two shots on target and they have both ended up in the back of the net. Their goals were definitely avoidable and we can’t do that, we can’t give teams head starts.

“We set our standards two weeks ago (beating Charlton in the FA Cup). We played really well here and that was the standards that we hoped we would get from out next fixture. We fell below those standards as a team and a staff.

“We understand that result wasn’t good enough, there will be plenty to learn from, a lot of games are coming up, we will take this on the chin, go back to the drawing board and start working again next week. I am very disappointed.”

The Gills might have taken the lead had the officials given a goal from Macauley Bonne’s header which may have crossed the line before the keeper got a hand to it.

Gillingham then conceded when Bradford capitalised on a weak pass from defender Scott Malone before adding a second, scored direct from a free-kick. At 2-0 down, in the 87th minute, the Gills had a shout for a penalty when Connor Mahoney went down in the box from a Richie Smallwood challenge.

The Bradford man claimed it was a dive and the referee felt there was nothing in it. Clemence wasn’t so sure.

On the disallowed goal, he said: “I have seen it back with one of my analysts, we have a tactical view with our camera so it is quite far away from the goal, I would probably like to see a different camera angle but it looks very close and the boys felt it was in as well.

“It looked to me as we could have had a penalty as well. From where I was standing it was a penalty, without seeing it back it looked a stone-waller and I don’t know why Connor Mahoney would go down otherwise.”

While the Gills got no help from the officials, Clemence accepted his players got things wrong too. The first goal was avoidable and Bradford’s second was scored by Andy Cook, firing in a free-kick as the defensive wall jumped out of the way.

“The goals have probably disappointed me the most,” said the Gills coach.

“The performance could be better as well, it was one of those games where it was a scrappy League 2 game. The first goal was vital and to give it away as cheaply as we did was disappointing, but we have to learn from it, as a team, as a group of staff a well.”

On the second goal, he added: “When a wall jumps you are going to get gaps in it, that is something that won’t happen again.”

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