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Gillingham 0 Harrogate Town 2: Match reaction from Gills manager Neil Harris after League 2 defeat

Boss Neil Harris believes Gillingham’s “bad habit” of not being clinical at both ends of the pitch cost them dear in their League 2 defeat at home to Harrogate on Tuesday.

The Gills started well and created plenty of chances to score throughout the match.

Stuart O'Keefe on the ball during Gillingham's 2-0 loss to Harrogate on Tuesday night. Picture: Beau Goodwin
Stuart O'Keefe on the ball during Gillingham's 2-0 loss to Harrogate on Tuesday night. Picture: Beau Goodwin

But Matty Daly broke the deadlock at Priestfield for the away team and Harrogate skipper Alex Pattison added a second after the restart, condemning Neil Harris’ team to a second defeat in four days.

Asked what his main emotion was after the match, Harris said: “Obviously frustration [whether that’s the] right word, wrong word.

“But box-to-box, some of our football was excellent. We were really good with the ball, couldn’t score, put the ball in enough danger areas, force enough corner kicks, put enough balls across the six-yard box, enough cutback crosses, [we just didn’t do] enough to win games of football.

“If you are not going to score, because you played well but you can’t score, then you have to get a clean sheet and it has to be 0-0. I think the statistics show they very rarely got in our penalty area but, when they did get there, it was too easy for them to create chances.

“So we had a bad habit of not having the ability to score at one end and then we were too easy to score against at the other end, hence why we lose the game. It’s as simple as that.

“The goals are really woeful - I sound like a broken record talking about poor goals to give away.

“There’s so much good stuff but it seems wrong talking about a lot of good play and some good individual performances when you have been beaten at home.”

There was a debut for on-loan Lincoln winger Hakeeb Adelakun, signed this week, and some bright sparks from him and Jordan Green and Ben Reeves in midfield.

But equally, had Gills goalkeeper Glenn Morris not been in excellent form, things could have been far worse for the Kent club who were beaten 3-0 at Tranmere last weekend.

Harris added: “I said to the players that I thought our attacking play was really good [with] the way we moved the ball.

“I was asking us to be a little bit patient at times, fans need to try to understand that we are trying to play modern football and keep the ball on the floor at times, but then you need to get the balance right between passing the ball and when to play over the top of teams as well.

“Certainly in the first half, the balance was really good. We got in some really good areas and, undoubtedly, should have scored a lot of goals.

“But if you are not going to score, you have to be strong at the other end of the pitch.

“And the frustration and disappointment is we didn’t get the final touch in one box and - at the other end - we haven’t got the ability to throw our bodies on the line to protect the goal, other than the goalkeeper [Morris] who I thought was magnificent.”

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