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Wrexham 2 Gillingham 0: Match highlights and reaction from head coach Stephen Clemence after League 2 defeat at the Racecourse Ground

Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence was pleased his side stayed in the game after conceding early at Wrexham.

Less than a minute was on the clock when the Wrexham front-two overpowered the Gills defence, combining for an opening goal. Clemence’s men gradually worked their way into the match but couldn’t make the most of their minimal chances and the Welsh side wrapped up the points in the second half.

Report: Wrexham 2-0 Gillingham

Clemence said: “They are very physical, very hard to play against, they get the ball in your box and that is where we got undone, two crosses that we haven’t dealt with and we lose two goals, but there were encouraging signs for me in the first half.

“I know our end product still has to improve but we did have a couple of good chances and a possible penalty appeal as well, and when you come to somewhere like Wrexham, a team that are top of the table you need a little bit of a luck and something like that to go for you.

“Sometimes you start games well and sometimes you don’t but they showed great strength of character. They could have gone under there (after conceding early). The crowd were up and it could have been a difficult afternoon.

“I have been in that situation as a player and a coach and now as head coach where when you go behind away from home against a team that is at the top of the table you think ‘this could get a little bit messy’ but the lads showed great character.

“They hung on in there and they grew into the game, I couldn’t fault their efforts we just need to work on their quality a bit.

“We had a couple of moments towards the end of the first half where we probably had to take one of those but I felt quite positive at half-time but second half we didn’t play as well as we could do.”

Shad Ogie had the best chance for the Gills but with just the keeper to beat he put a shot wide.

“You have to be in there to miss them,” said the coach.

“It is when they are not getting in there and they are not getting opportunities, then that’s a problem.

“We are not creating enough opportunities at the moment, it’s one of the reasons I am here at the club, but I felt some of our build-up play in the first half and some moments in the second half was okay, it’s fine margins.

“We have come unstuck with balls into the box and they have taken their chances.”

Things might have been different had the Gills been awarded a penalty right at the end of the first half when Scott Malone’s shot struck the arm of a defender.

Clemence was sure it should have been awarded.

He said: “I thought from standing in the technical area it hit his arm, his arm looked away from his body, but some are given, some aren’t.

“You don’t know when you get a penalty these days, it has been well spoken about in the past number of weeks, I have seen them given.

“I felt we were well in the game at half-time, even at 1-0 down, but unfortunately we didn’t find our rhythm in the second half.

“There is plenty to work on, I will assess it again, I will watch the game back and on Monday we will work on how we go forward with it.”

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