Gills boss happy to get a point on frustrating afternoon.
Gillingham Manager Steve Lovell was pleased that his side managed to dig in and grab a point at the Medway Priestfield Stadium despite a ‘leggy’ performance following Wednesday’s game against Sunderland.
The Gills were behind within seconds of the second half starting as Clarke-Harris powered home a free-header from just yards out. However Elliott List smashed home from an incredibly tight angle after battling past several defenders to gain the hosts a point in a 1-1 draw.
Lovell said he was not a happy man at the break with Gillingham slow out of the blocks and lacking their usual fluency, but he was cheered by the resolve of his players in a frantic second half.
“As soon as the game started I could just sense that we weren’t as sharp as we have been – we had to have a bit of a go at them at half-time. We wanted to press them, but we looked a bit leggy.
“We’re a quick side and we do things quickly, but we didn’t today. We didn’t start right, and when we don’t start right it’s hard for us to get into it.
“But they rolled their sleeves up and they don’t give up – that’s the pleasing aspect for us. We dug in and did what we should have done in the first half –get amongst them. Today was a point gained, rather than two points lost.”
Elliott List was the saviour for Gillingham, and Lovell praised his influence on the game after coming on in the first half for the injured Regan Charles-Cook.
“He’s been dying to get back into the team, but obviously with his injury we had to be careful with him.
“He hasn’t stopped scoring through pre-season and it’s nice for him to get off the mark today because he’s a talent. He’s quick, he can go past people and he has been finishing off the chances well.”
Mark Byrne also picked up a knock and had to be replaced in the first half, and Lovell commented that he would be making changes ahead of a tough encounter with Barnsley in a week.
“I was always going to change it next for Barnsley anyway. I think Mark and Regan may be out for a couple of weeks but I’ll have to talk to the physio.
“It gives others an opportunity. Callum [Reilly] and Billy [Bingham] did a good job in the middle in the second half which gave us a chance to get in down the sides. Bradley Stevenson has also been doing well and we’ve got Josh Rees back next week.
“We’ll have to come in next week and get it sorted for a tough game.”