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Gillingham midfielder Mark Byrne counting cost of poor finishing and lack of luck against Rotherham

Gillingham midfielder Mark Byrne knows that missed chances proved costly on Saturday.

Byrne had Gills’ first shot on target with 11 minutes left against Rotherham.

Mark Byrne holds off a flying challenge from Rotherham's Chiedozie Ogbene Picture: Ady Kerry
Mark Byrne holds off a flying challenge from Rotherham's Chiedozie Ogbene Picture: Ady Kerry

The Gills were 2-0 down at the break and found no way back against the visitors.

Reacting to the defeat, Byrne said: “The conditions were tough, especially first half, against the wind, but we started brightly.

“We conceded a penalty, Jack (Bonham) saves it and that gives us a bit of a lifeline. Then we make a mistake for the first goal, which kills us a bit, then the second was a great finish.

“We had a good go second half and that bit of quality in the final third let us down. They scored the last goal as we were pushing up but first half, their first goal killed us a bit.”

Byrne accepted his mistake in Gills’ last game at Priestfield, conceding a penalty. A defensive error led to Rotherham’s opener at the weekend.

“These things happen,” he said. “Same with me the week before against Peterborough.

“There was a mix-up in communication (from goalkeeper Jack Bonham and defender Connor Ogilvie) but Jack has saved us in games, especially against Accrington last week.

“We made a mistake and it’s happened to us a few times, making individual mistakes, but we just need that bit of luck over the next few weeks.

“We have to keep our head on and look forward to the next game.”

The Gills gave it a go in the second half.

“We performed much better,” Byrne said. “We had a go, it was just a lack of quality and finishing it off.”

Byrne’s chance could have made it interesting had he beaten keeper Daniel Iversen.

The Irishman said: “Their keeper has made a good save. There has to be someone on the end for the rebound but at the moment we are not getting the tap-ins and it is not falling to us.”

The Gills didn’t get the big decisions from the officials, either.

Byrne felt that Rotherham’s Michael Ihiekwe should have seen red for taking out Brandon Hanlan on route to goal and Regan Charles-Cook was denied a chance to score, flagged for offside.

He said: “Brandon was taken down, he is the last man, it should be a red card. I didn’t see their penalty but at the start of the second half Max (Ehmer) gets taken down in the box as well.

“First half the referee has told Regan that he has made a mistake, he didn’t know it had come off the defender.

“It is just not falling for us at the moment, but we had a chance of a penalty second half and they should have had a player sent off but the referee never gave it.

“We have to keep digging in and we have a good game to look forward to next week (away to Sunderland in the FA Cup) which will be difficult.

“It is a long trip up there, we will be underdogs, but hopefully we can get the win and a good draw in the next round.”

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