Published: 18:00, 18 August 2018
| Updated: 09:30, 19 August 2018
A slow start was Gillingham’s downfall according to boss Steve Lovell.
His team fell behind after 12 minutes and conceded a killer second just before the break.
The Gills had several good chances during an entertaining game but the goal they did get, scored by Tom Eaves, was deep into stoppage-time at the end of the contest.
“Our performance was okay,” said Lovell, after the defeat.
“The players gave everything but we didn’t start well, in the first five or 10 minutes, not like we normally do. It’s then hard to get into the game.
“They have got to learn from this, they can’t just turn it on and off, you have to start games from the first whistle and take command. We have done that in our first three games but first 10 we took a little bit of time to get into the game, which gave Walsall the impetus to go forward.
“They deserved to get a goal in that first period and we perhaps deserved a couple in the second but they didn’t come.”
Walsall’s first came after the Gills had given away possession in the middle of the park.
Lovell said: “I was disappointed with the way we conceded that but pleased with the way the boys responded. Second half I thought we were unlucky not to get something out of the game.
“Over the course of 90 minutes they probably deserved to win it but it was a very open game. It would have been a good one for the neutral because it was end to end stuff.
“We created quite a few opportunities second half and we just needed to score a little earlier.
“Conor (Wilkinson) put a good cross in for Tom to score, it wasn’t as if we didn’t have a lack of ball in the final third, we did, it was just that the little bit of quality at times that was needed which wasn’t there, and a little bit of luck.
“Conor Wilkinson could have had a couple of goals but it wasn’t to be.”