The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Tom van Klav­eren

NIGEL CLOUGH was left be­moan­ing his side’s lack of com­po­sure at key mo­ments as Sh­effield United con­ceded two late goals at Gilling­ham.

Su­per-sub Jer­maine McGlashan opened the scor­ing with just four min­utes re­main­ing, be­fore turn­ing provider and al­low­ing Cody McDon­ald to com­plete the Gills’ victory.

The loss drops the Blades out of the play-off places and, on this ev­i­dence, they will need to im­prove to put up a se­ri­ous pro­mo­tion chal­lenge.

Clough said: “I thought the game had 0-0 writ­ten all over it for 86 min­utes, but then Mark Howard had a rush of blood.

“It was a poor kick to start with – and then he has an­other one by com­ing charg­ing out and we have lost the game.

“Our fi­nal ball was nowhere near with the qual­ity that it should have been.

“I thought ev­ery­one fell into that cat­e­gory to­day.The fi­nal pass or shot wasn’t good enough.

“I thought we played well enough at times. We got the ball down and cre­ated enough to go and get a goal or two, but we are just lack­ing that be­lief at the mo­ment.”

United were the bet­ter team in the first half, with both Che Adams and Louis Reed forc­ing Gilling­ham goal­keeper Mark Howard into sharp saves.

How­ever, af­ter the break, the Gills be­gan to take con­trol and nearly took the lead in the 55th minute when Jake Hassen­thaler’s low cross was pow­er­fully volleyed against the bar by McDon­ald.

The Kent side con­tin­ued to look the more likely scor­ers and got their re­ward four min­utes from time when McGlashan latched on to Max Eh­mer’s hope­ful long ball to poke it un­der the on­rush­ing goal­keeper.

Sh­effield United pushed for­ward in search of the equaliser but were caught on the counter attack, McGlasham squar­ing for McDon­ald to fire home.

It was no more than Gilling­ham de­served, mov­ing them to 17th in the ta­ble and giv­ing their out­go­ing care­taker bosses a good send-off, with new manager Justin Ed­in­burgh set to take over from to­day.

One of those care­tak­ers, Steve Lovell, said: “It was a good re­sult in the end, with two late goals, and I thought the boys de­served it over­all.

“In the first half there were quite a few things we weren’t happy with that we ad­dressed at half- time and the boys ad­hered to them in the sec­ond half.

“We passed the ball a lot bet­ter and thor­oughly de­served the three points.”

The new manager was present in the stands.

He was pa­raded on the pitch be­fore kick-off, which was some­thing Lovell felt may have given the team an ex­tra lift.

He said: “I think the new manager be­ing present in the stands will have made a dif­fer­ence to our per­for­mance and pro­vided a boost for the play­ers and staff.

“It is great to have a new man in and we are all look­ing for­ward to work­ing with him.

“That in­cludes us coaches as well as the play­ers.”

PIC­TURES: Max Flego


am HANDY WORK: Jer­maine McGlashan en­joys the praise af­ter scor­ing. Left: Cody McDon­ald adds the sec­ond

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