Home   Medway   Sport   Article

Sutton United 2 Gillingham 1: Match highlights and reaction from Gills boss Neil Harris after League 2 defeat

Gillingham manager Neil Harris felt his side did enough to get a result at Sutton and was gutted to have left empty-handed.

The Gills had a number of chances in Thursday night's game and competed well against the home side, scoring an equaliser through Robbie McKenzie to make it 1-1 going into stoppage-time. But in the third of four added-on minutes at the end of the game Sutton captain Craig Eastmond struck a winner from 20 yards into the bottom corner.

“That wasn’t a performance that deserved to get beat,” said the Gills boss. “We had the best chances, we missed three or four good chances in the six yard box, we score a brilliant goal, a moment of brilliance from Robbie McKenzie and we are in the ascendency.

“We lost our way a little right towards the end when Alex MacDonald came off the pitch, his impact on the game was excellent. I feel for the boys. I thought for 25 minutes (in the first half) we were the better team, we got into really dangerous areas, we should have been infront, we had a stonewall penalty turned down by a referee who I thought was horrific.

“We then concede a goal, a poor goal where we didn’t compete. I am really disappointed in my back line and I have not said that very often this year. It was a really poor goal to concede and then I don’t think we responded well after the goal. I understand that with a team lacking in confidence.

“Fan reaction at half-time wasn’t pleasant [Gills fans sang ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ as the players left the field] and I said to the boys, ‘come on, backs to the walls, what are we going to do?’ Second half, barring the first five minutes where we couldn’t get out of our box, I thought we were a miles better team after that.

“We scored a great goal, should score more and then the sucker-punch at the end, we don’t get tight again. Good finish? Yes, I suppose it is from 20 yards on his wrong foot but when you are at the bottom that happens doesn’t it? I am hugely disappointed.

“The goals conceded were poor but we didn’t give a lot away, we were playing against one of the best teams who compete in the league and for a lot of it we competed, first goal we didn’t. We played some really good stuff in some good areas, played forward at the right times, looked a threat, created chances, but we found a way to lose the game.”

Harris made a change at the break with Mikael Mandron on at the break for Baggott. McKenzie levelled for Gills in the 78th minute.

The manager said: “Mikael Mandron coming on at half time gave us that extra body up the pitch and I thought he did well.

“At 1-1 we wanted to play front foot, I said to the lads ‘don’t step off, still play as we were, a little higher up the pitch’, I thought Alex MacDonald coming off we lost a bit of impetus, maybe their subs made more of an impact than ours, in the closing stages of the game.

“Their lads hit a 20-yarder on his wrong foot and ended up in the bottom corner (for the winner). Did we get tight enough? But that ball could fly anywhere. It’s gut wrenching isn’t it?”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More