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Reaction: Gillingham boss Steve Lovell on the 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury Town

Gillingham produced a second half performance that thrilled the manager.

The Gills were second best in the first half, still restricting their high-flying hosts to one shot on target, before turning the tide after the break.

An equalising goal from Mark Byrne was just reward for their efforts.

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Steve LovellPicture: Ady Kerry
Steve LovellPicture: Ady Kerry

Match Report Shrewsbury Town 1 Gillingham 1

Boss Steve Lovell said: “We didn’t start bright, they started very well, which they would do, they are a top two/three side, they are going to come out and have a go.

“We weathered the storm first half and second half I thought we had the better of it.

“We have to start the way we did second half. The second half we outplayed them for football I thought, we kept hold of the ball and created things.

“It was a difficult first half, but I enjoyed the second, I loved it, because we actually controlled the ball, we had it and passed it and players got into the game a lot more.

“It is another point against a very good Shrewsbury side, a team who are having a great season, but had we started alright we might have come away with three points.”

Gillingham celebrate their equaliser at Shrewsbury Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham celebrate their equaliser at Shrewsbury Picture: Ady Kerry

Lovell kept faith with his players at the break, despite a tough 45 minutes.

The manager said: “About 10-15 minutes before half-time we started to get on the ball, started to pass it and started to get in the game. I said to them ‘we are in this game’.

“The first 20 minutes we never started, we weren’t winning tackles, headers or passing it, I said that is what we do every week.

“We had to switch pay, get the ball right to left, using the centre halves, getting Ben Nugent and Max Ehmer out with the ball and that is what we did. It makes the pitch big.

“When you play with two wide men, like we do, it then means our midfield men get more space because they start to spread out and others get on the ball. You have to be a little bit brave.

“They went with three upfront to start with, but we stayed three at the back, they could deal with it, man for man, they are good defenders. In the end they had one upfront, allowing two of our centre halves to go on.

“It was cat and mouse. You have to be brave. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but you have to give it a go don’t you?”

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