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Steve Lovell reacts to Gillingham's 2-1 defeat against Port Vale in League 1

Steve Lovell appeals for a decision from the touchline at Vale Park Picture: Barry Goodwin
Steve Lovell appeals for a decision from the touchline at Vale Park Picture: Barry Goodwin

Gillingham under-18 boss Steve Lovell was “gutted” to see the first team lose late on at Port Vale.

Lovell was part of the caretaker management team that prepared the Gills for their League 1 trip to Vale Park.

The Gills looked to have won a point from an entertaining game before Colin Daniel’s injury-time strike won it for the hosts.

Lovell said: “It was a very open, end to end game. We had a different approach, we went and played an attacking formation and went to get at Port Vale.

“The boys put in a shift and worked very hard. There was some great stuff played.

"It was an open game and you do have to sometimes work on your defensive aspect and to not make it an open game. That will need a bit of work if things remain the same.

“There were loads of chances, especially first half. We had chance after chance. They had a couple in the second half as well and it could have gone either way.

”It is just gutting at the end to lose it but there are a lot of positives to come out of it, even though we lost 2-1. The boys were good and they gave us everything and that’s all you can ask.”

Gills’ management team was put together in the wake of Peter Taylor’s sacking on New Year’s Eve.

It consisted of Gills’ former striker Lovell, ex-manager Andy Hessenthaler and fellow backroom team members Darren Hare and Mark Patterson.

With a 4-4-2 formation – in a break from Taylor’s five-man defensive set-ups – Lovell and the caretaker team wanted to entertain.

“We want to go out there and to try and win a game, rather than not losing, that was our philosophy,” said Lovell.

“If we are still here next game, or the game after, that’s what we will continue to do.

“Everything went to plan in the first half and we created chance after chance. We defended manly as well so all in all, it could have gone either way.”

The game was tied at 1-1, as Cody McDonald cancelled out Vale’s early goal, but the hosts won it late on.

Lovell said: “It was just a little disappointing about the play down on the left side. Joe has had a great game, a very good game, but one header, he knocked it in field and they got the goal from it.

“It happens in football and you just have to grin and bear it.”

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