CLOUGH HIT BY STING IN TAIL
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.”
STAR MAN MAX EHMER Gillingh
am HANDY WORK: Jermaine McGlashan enjoys the praise after scoring. Left: Cody McDonald adds the second