Opposition view: Lovell felt Gills would have ‘deserved’ victory over Cobblers

Gillingham caretaker Steve Lovell
Gillingham caretaker Steve Lovell

Steve Lovell felt the blustery conditions played into Northampton’s hands on Saturday as Gillingham’s caretaker manager paid tribute the quality of Town’s two goals during their 2-1 win at Priestfield.

On an incredibly windy day in Kent the Cobblers ran out winners thanks to Daniel Powell’s fine first-half strike and then Matt Grimes’ superb free-kick late on.

If we had come off the pitch 2-1 up then people would have said that we deserved it.

“Obviously, I’m very disappointed with the result,” said Lovell. “I thought that in the first-half we played very well and created a number of opportunities, but their keeper has made two or three brilliant saves to keep them in the game.

“Goals kill you – their first goal was a great strike and Tomas Holy didn’t have a chance with the second. It was the only bit of quality from them in the second-half. Grimes is a quality player and he proved to be the match-winner.

“If we get the early goal then obviously it lifts everybody but for them to score in the 44th minute, it really takes the wind out of your sails.”

Gillingham went into Saturday’s game on the back of impressive results against Peterborough United and Wigan Athletic but they were unable to keep that run going against Town on a wind-swept afternoon.

And Lovell believed the difficult conditions suited the visitors more than the home side.

“Everybody’s expectations were very high, but these can be the hardest games,” he added. “It was a battle, and the conditions made it a battle. It suited them better than us as we wanted to get the ball down on the floor and play with pace.

“But if they keep performing like they are and working hard, then they will get the breaks. They couldn’t do any more today except put the ball in the back of the net.

“If we had come off the pitch 2-1 up then people would have said that we deserved it.”