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Harrogate Town 5 Gillingham 1: Reaction from Gills’ head coach Stephen Clemence after League 2 thrashing – boss says sorry to fans

Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence offered an apology to the fans who witnessed his team’s capitulation at Harrogate.

The Gills were looking reasonably comfortable with a 1-0 lead at the break, but Harrogate totally dominated the second half, hitting a quickfire trio of goals on 60, 66 and 70 minutes and finished with two more in stoppage-time.

Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence apologised to fans after the second half at Harrogate Picture: @Julian_KPI
Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence apologised to fans after the second half at Harrogate Picture: @Julian_KPI

Report: Harrogate 5 Gillingham 1

Clemence said: “First and foremost I want to apologise to all the fans who came here because what I saw in the second half is not acceptable from the players one little bit.

“First half, we were in a really good position, played really well, I thought we would go on and win the game maybe by two or three but what I saw in the second half with the individual errors and mistakes that were made, (mistakes) that you don’t normally see from some of those players, was disturbing for me.”

George Lapslie’s 41st-minute goal put the Gills ahead in the opening half but they offered nothing going forward after the interval. There were no shots and barely any attacking play as Harrogate bossed it from the restart.

Harrogate levelled on the hour and Conor Masterson gave away the ball for the hosts to go 2-1 up through Matty Daly, who moments later broke forward to extend their lead.

The Gills were all over the place in stoppage time as Harrogate scored twice more.

“I am angry, very angry,” said Clemence after the final whistle.

“We made far too many individual errors and we looked very ragged at the end, I didn’t like what I saw at all.

“The first goal (conceded) was really important, we made a mistake and gave away a silly free-kick, then we defended the first phase but didn’t stop the cross for the second and we got done at the back post.

“The second goal was obviously a huge individual error but there were others who made mistakes as well, with the goals after that.

“People don’t mean to make errors like that, but what you can’t do is follow one mistake with another and then another and another, because you end up with a result like that and that is not something I want to see again on my watch.

“We are all very disappointed and very sorry because it is a big effort and a big journey for people on Easter weekend, for people to spend a lot of money, I can only apologise.

“I didnt see it coming but we got rattled, we made a couple of mistakes, I don’t want to swear but we were not very good at all after that, the spaces, the way people’s heads went, not acceptable, that is not something I ever want to see again when I am in charge of a football team.”

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