LEE CLARK surveyed the 2-0 defeat at Gillingham which meant Town dropped out of the League I play-off places and said: “For 64 out of 90 minutes I was proud of our efforts, but those other 26 proved very expensive.”
Already trailing to Simeon Jackson’s sixth-minute opener, Town had Nathan Eccleston sent off just 25 minutes into a match seen by a 5,388 crowd which included actor Patrick Stewart, the club’s new academy president.
The on-loan Liverpool player faces a three-match ban for an ugly two-footed challenge on Gills right-back Stuart Lewis, and Town’s afternoon got even worse when Canadian international Jackson scored his second goal just 20 seconds into the second half.
Click below to view pictures of match action from Saturday's clash.Related content
It was a second defeat running, after the 5-0 setback at Southampton, for Clark, who remains confident his seventh-placed side, next in action at home to leaders Norwich on Saturday, can get their season back on course.
“I thought there was a definite hangover after Southampton for the first 25 minutes, when we were very poor,” said the boss.
“But after Nathan’s red card, over which I have no complaints, our response was excellent.
“Then we didn’t even have a chance to sit down in the dug-out after half-time before they were two up through a goal scored after our kick-off. We gave the ball away, and that’s not good enough.
“Once again, our response was fantastic, and we certainly created enough chances, especially after we went 3-3-3 and went man for man with their front three, to have got something from the game.”
Have your say on Saturday's match, the thrashing by Saints and where Town go from here.