A committed second half performance was a boost for Gillingham boss Peter Taylor.
The Gills pulled a goal back from being 2-0 down to keep themselves in with a chance right until the end.
“I was pleased with the second half,” said the Gills boss.
“In the first half we had some good things but not enough of them. There was some good play from Bristol City and not enough from us. Second half we asked a few more questions and I was very pleased with the response.”
City were the top ranked team in the FA Cup first round.
“We knew they were a good team and you don’t go unbeaten (in the league) by luck,” said Taylor. “You do that because you are a good team.
“I know they made some changes but they still had some very good players who were fresh and looking to prove that they should be in the team.
“They were always going to be difficult opponents. We respected that 100% and the boys knew it would be hard but it was a game we could have won. That’s how we approached the game. Second half they were a bit more belief than the first half.”
The Gills conceded from a cross in the first half and a goal from distance in the second.
“I was disappointed with both the goals we conceded,” said Taylor.
“We could have dealt with the first goal a little bit better. The fella shouldn’t have been allowed to get the cross in and we should have dealt with the man at the far post.
“The shot from Thomas (for the second goal) was from one of our defensive headers. It’s an area we don’t want the ball dropping to. In that respect it was disappointing.”
The Gills did, however, get a goal back when Danny Kedwell scored from the penalty spot with nine minutes left.
Gillingham’s fighting spirit pleased Taylor.
“The players didn’t drop their heads, they kept going and worked hard,” he said.
“I can’t complain when they play and run around like that and show that they are looking to win the match, that’s all you can ask for.”