Date: 25th November 2015 at 4:59pm
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Manager Keith Hill has spoken of his frustration at the ‘small margins’ that led to a two nil defeat to Gillingham in Tuesday’s match.

Speaking to the Official Site following the game, Hill was full of prise for the hosts on the day but he knows the result could’ve been different.

‘It`s frustrating – it`s small margins. Gillingham are a good side and they`re a good side at home, especially when they do the basics correctly. I don`t think we did the basics correctly tonight and I think that`s the difference between the two sides. They did the basics better than us and I think they used a little bit more experience than us in key areas of the pitch.’

As for decisions in the game, it wasn’t just the decision making of the players that were a concern, Hill knows we didn’t get the luck of the draw from the officials either.

‘I`m disappointed with one or two decisions, not just from my players, but from the officials as well. I think there`s a clear foul or an offense on Donal McDermott for the first one, and for the second one, there`s a clear and deliberate nudge on our goalkeeper. I think that`s where I`m talking about the experience and the knowhow from the opposition in those areas of the pitch. But, we should have dealt with the first one better. The second one, once the goalkeeper has got the nudge then I think the referee should blow.’

The biggest disappointment for Hill was that he felt we were growing nicely into the game and starting to get ourselves on top when they scored the second goal of the night but even then had we been more clinical we did have the chances to effected the scoreline.

‘We were getting into the game, there`s no question about that, and I was encouraged by the start of the second half. But again, it was one of them where we were huffing and puffing. We got into really good areas of the pitch and on another day. We need to be more clinical – I think they were better in both areas.’

One positive from the match was the debut of Academy graduate James Hooper in the game as a second half substitute as he becomes the next one off the production line following in the footsteps of the likes of Jamie Allen, Callum Camps, Andy Cannon, Johny Diba and Scott Tanser.

With Hooper signing his first professional deal over the summer, Hill explained that he had earned his first team chance with his efforts in training.

‘He has been doing exceptionally well in training. He`s the one who has stood the course so far and I think he`s flourishing. He has shown a lot of encouragement and has been unlucky not to be on the bench a few times. I feel as though there`s a very good play in the making there and when he came on I was encouraged by his performance. I thought he was good on the counter-attack and we had one or two near misses.’

Hill went on to say that he doesn’t hand out debuts for the sake of it, there’s always a reason and the time was right for the youngster.

‘I don`t just hand out debuts for the sake of it – there was a reason for putting him in. He has shown that he can play that position in the bounce games that he has played in and in training. He scores a lot of goals in training so I`m quietly confident that we can get him in the side as the season matures. We have to pick three points up on a regular basis and if you`re picking points up on a regular basis then I can afford to give out more debuts and make sure I give them an extended run in the side or on the bench. When push comes to shove, we need the no fear of the youth but we need the patience and the carefulness of the experienced players. We need to get the points ticking over on the board and hopefully we`ll do that on Saturday.’

With 69 fans making the 502 mile trek for the game at Priestfield Stadium the gaffer was also quick to praise them for their efforts – but it just made it more of a shame that the players hadn’t sent them home with something to cheer.

‘They`re the die hards. It`s absolutely superb commitment to the football club and the team. They stayed until the end, signing for the players and the team. It was a tremendous effort from all the supporters that came down today.’