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Newport County 1 Gillingham 0: Match highlights and reaction from Gills head coach Stephen Clemence after League 2 defeat at Rodney Parade

Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence admitted defeat was hard to take after losing a clash between two evenly-matched teams.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Newport County beat the Gills 1-0 thanks to a fine goal from their leading scorer Will Evans. The best chance for Gillingham fell to Tim Dieng but he was denied by the home keeper.

Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence Picture: @Julian_KPI
Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence Picture: @Julian_KPI

Report: Newport 1 Gillingham 0

“I never felt in trouble,” said Clemence. “I thought it had 0-0 written all over it, they have had one chance in the box, I can’t remember Jake (Turner the goalkeeper) making any other saves or being in trouble at all, but to be fair to the lad it’s a great finish from them.

“We have had a moment ourselves where Tim had a great effort and their keeper makes a great save.

“It was a very tight game and we knew coming into the game it would be a very tight affair, they have been in good form and we would have to be up for the fight. I thought the boys did really well for the majority of the game but they had one moment in the second half where they got the better of us and unfortunately, we had to go home with no points which is difficult to take.

“It is very hard to take. I think there were two very organised teams that cancelled each other out a little bit. We were away from home at a very difficult place to go, it has been for a long time and I did feel it would be about what happened in both boxes, they had a moment and unfortunately, the one we had the keeper made a great save, their moment flies into the top corner.

“They have got down our right side probably a bit too easy, and easier than I would liked, and delivered a ball into the box where the boy has delivered a sidewinder volley from nearly the edge of the box into our top corner and when you get beaten by a goal like that sometimes you have to accept it.

“It is very difficult when you make the long trip, we have had a great following, 500 supporters, we would have loved to have taken something back home for them but it wasn’t meant to be.”

Gillingham did push for the equaliser late on with a flurry of half chances but Newport defended well to protect their lead.

Clemence said: “You just hoped something was going to fall for us in the box. I got as many attacking players on as I could, I felt one or two who I took off had run out of steam so we had to make some changes, they came on and had a right go or the last 15-20 minutes, but we couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net unfortunately.”

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