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Crewe 2 Gillingham 0: Reaction from Gills boss Neil Harris after League 2 defeat at Gresty Road

Gillingham manager Neil Harris admitted there was much to consider after his team lost on the road again.

The Gills were beaten 2-0 at Crewe - despite having enough chances to head back to Kent with something - and they dropped to eighth in the League 2 table with 11 games played. Their midweek loss follows reverses at Doncaster and Grimsby in their previous away trips.

Gillingham manager Neil Harris was frustrated with their midweek loss at Crewe Picture: Keith Gillard
Gillingham manager Neil Harris was frustrated with their midweek loss at Crewe Picture: Keith Gillard

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Harris said: “In some ways I feel hard done by because in the first half we had the best chances, we have to take out chances, we’ve had four or five really clear-cut guilt-edged chances and we haven’t taken them.

“At the other end we have given away a really poor goal in the first half where we’ve just been bullied.

“I though the difference on the night was Mickey Demetriou, their senior centre-half, he was strong and organised and I could hear him all night, he curtailed a lot of our attacks with his experience. When our chances did come along we didn’t take them.

“We can talk around the houses and sugarcoat it as much as we want. First half we played in spells really well, second half when I made the subs they had no impact whatsoever and that’s disappointing.

“We tried to force the game, make the changes, go more attacking and at times we lost our way with that so that’s something for me to consider, certainly when chasing the game.

“I am just very conscious that it’s three away games now where I feel like we have fallen short at times and I think when you look back at chances created, ours are certainly better than theirs, but we lost the game.”

The Gills hit the post through Ethan Coleman in the first half, George Lapslie had a shot saved and Macauley Bonne missed a golden chance from infront of goal. Coleman also headed wide from a Connor Mahoney corner.

Other chances came and went. Jake Turner saved well with his foot to deny Courtney Baker-Richardson but the Gills were left chasing the game when Coleman lost out to Connor O’Riordan as Zac Williams swung in a cross and the header found the net with 30 minutes gone.

The Gills conceded a second on 85 minutes when Joe White converted Aaron Rowe’s cross, despite the best efforts of Turner, who got a strong hand to the shot.

Harris said: “I was comfortable with the possession they had because they controlled the ball within their half and were not hurting us, when we controlled the ball we penetrated and got into really good areas.

“We have the best set-piece taker of the ball in the league. He (Mahoney) is putting really good balls into the box and we are not getting on the end of them and that is something that has to be addressed, I tried addressing and it just comes down to personnel and desire.

“I can’t bemoan too much but where is that mentality gone of us being hard to beat?

“We give goals away. Second one I can understand a bit on the counter-attack but we can’t give the ball away on the halfway-line like we did so cheaply, unopposed. The first goal we have been bullied.

“It’s not just the chances we had. Players have to be in there to get the chances and you can see the work we are doing on the training pitch and the chances that we’re creating and you can see as an attacking force we are getting better all the time.

“For me, it was the amount of balls that dropped in the penalty area that we didn’t get onto, that was key. The players have to look at themselves, are they doing enough and have enough hunger to want to score a goal? Then I just look at personnel.

“On the road we have to find that mentality where we have to get a clean sheet, that we throw our bodies on the line, that we get infront of our goal, that we don’t make stupid decisions and that we don’t get bullied, that we don’t get run past and that somebody is organising the players infront of them. We have fallen short in all of that in the last three away games.”

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