Lovell | "It was a decent performance"

Steve Lovell's men slip to defeat at Walsall but Gills boss takes the positives.

Steve Lovell said he was pleased with his side’s performance against Walsall despite slipping to a narrow 2-1 defeat at the Banks’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Gills found themselves two goals down before the break thanks to an excellent effort from Morgan Ferrier and a slightly more fortuitous strike from Isaiah Osbourne. However the Gills responded well and after seeing a series of shots blocked and a header from Callum Reilly cleared off the line in the second period, Tom Eaves finally did pull one back deep into stoppage time.

However not enough time was left to form a couple of final attacks and Walsall took all three points.

Speaking after the game Steve said: "Performance was okay; they gave everything. I just don't think we started well, or like we normally do, and then it's hard to get back in the game. Their first was an excellent goal but I'm disappointed how we conceded it.

“We created a number of opportunities in the second half, we changed a few things which paid dividends but we just needed to score a bit earlier.

“Sometimes it goes for you, sometimes it doesn’t, but I am taking heart from the performance. Overall I thought Walsall deserved the three points, I thought they were very good.

“They’re a good side and their two boys up front caused us a few problems in the first half, especially Ferrier down the channels and they did to us in the first half what we’ve been doing to teams.”

Lovell praised his side for refusing to give up and continuing to play in the right manner.

He added: “They kept going, they didn’t give up, we had a go in the second half at 2-0 down, took the game to them and I’m just disappointed we didn’t score a bit earlier.

“I knew the character of the boys but they need to learn from this experience; you can’t just turn it on and turn it off. Today, in the first 10 minutes, we took a bit of time to get into the game and it gave Walsall the impetus to go forward and they deserved to get a goal in that period.

“We perhaps deserved a couple in the second half but they didn’t come.”

Conor Wilkinson came on in the second half and he made a strong impact, setting up the goal for Eaves and creating a number of other half chances.

Steve said: “We’ve got players who can pass the ball and deliver balls into the box. Conor put a great ball in for Tom to score his goal so it wasn’t as if we didn’t have a lack of ball in the final third, we did, it’s just at times that little bit of quality we needed wasn’t there.

“Conor’s a good player; he brings that bit of quality to us and he came on and did well. At times you have to give credit [to the opposition]; we’re not going to win every game or get something from it but we need to take the positives and perhaps work on what we didn’t do today, and the only thing we didn’t do today was start well in the first ten minutes.

“The other eighty were very good. I always say make sure the first thing you do in a game is positive and I thought a couple of the boys weren’t controlling it as they have done or a pass was behind the target rather than in front.

“I’m disappointed not to get anything today. Six points from three games is fine but I thought our second half performance, it deserved to get something out of it, but we can’t go two goals down. It’s a long way to come back.

“Today they defended very, very well. We gave them the first goal; you could say it’s a  great strike but he should never have been in that position and they punished us. We just need to learn from it.”