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Wimbledon 2 Gillingham 0: Reaction from head coach Stephen Clemence after League 2 defeat at Plough Lane

Gillingham head coach Stephen Clemence spoke of his pride in the side after they battled on with 10 men at Wimbledon.

The Gills went a goal down after 33 minutes and a man down five minutes after that which left them with an uphill battle. The Dons scored a second after the break but Clemence was keen to praise his side for their efforts against the odds.

Head coach Stephen Clemence said he was proud of his side’s effort at Wimbledon Picture: @Julian_KPI
Head coach Stephen Clemence said he was proud of his side’s effort at Wimbledon Picture: @Julian_KPI

Report: Wimbledon 2 Gillingham 0

Conor Masterson’s sending off for two cautions in two minutes made life tough for the remainder of the League 2 fixture.

Clemence said: “I am really proud of the boys in the second half with 10 men, their character was immense to have stayed in the game and to have created one or two things ourselves.”

Wimbledon’s Omar Bugiel scored both - the second on 65 minutes as he pounced on a loose ball after keeper Glenn Morris has saved Jake Reeves’ long-range effort.

Earlier Bugiel had headed home as he beat Masterson to the ball - the start of the Gillingham defender’s downfall on the night.

Clemence said: “We started the game well and obviously the games swings in a five or six minute period.

“A cross comes into our box and we should do better. The challenge isn’t good enough in the box and then a few minutes later we go down to 10 men.

“Yes, it’s disappointing because I felt we were right in the game, I felt we were giving them problems and obviously it wasn’t meant to be.

“I felt we were in a good place in the game, coming away from home, but the game swung in five or six minutes and it’s done now.

“I told the players I was really proud of them, with the way they kept going in the second half.

“It is easy for players to chuck the towel in when they go down to 10 men and give up but the boys certainly didn’t give up, that is when you learn even more about people and players, and they all stood up to be counted.

“Sometimes you go down to 10 men for whatever reason and you don’t often come out on the right side of it and that was us but the boys didn’t go under, which was fine by me, well done to them.”

Clemence handed Conor Mahoney a start at Wimbledon after his impressive performance off the bench at the weekend.

Commenting on the switch, he said: “I tried to go 3-4-3, they were playing the same system.

“Connor Mahoney was outstanding at the weekend, I wanted him in the team and I felt Connor and Jonny (Williams) could cause them problems and they did on a number of occasions in the first 25 minutes.

“They (Wimbledon) had a 10 minute spell before the goal where we gave away too many free-kicks and we didn’t defend the second phase from a corner and that is what has turned the game, the goal and then the sending off quickly after.

“I think the system would have worked, if it had been 11 versus 11 I think it would have been a much better game.”

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