ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman was left reflecting on his side’s wasteful finishing as they lost 1-0 to Gillingham at the Wham Stadium.

The Reds dominated for long periods, creating 20 shots on goal but failed to score despite twice hitting the post and having two goals disallowed.

The hosts then saw Regan Charles-Cook net a rare attempt for the visitors in the second half and consign them to defeat.

“The performance was good enough to win the game,” said Coleman.

“We’ve made enough chances to win the game but unfortunately we haven’t taken them and we only have ourselves to blame.

“We’ve gifted them a goal through poor defending by three or four players.

"That was the difference today. They took the one clear chance they had in the game, I can’t remember Dimi Evtimov making a save but their keeper has made four good saves and we’ve missed four really good chances.

“If you’re missing chances you have to look at yourself and not hide behind excuses.

"The harsh reality is that we lost the game today because we couldn’t put the ball in the net.

"We created gilt-edged opportunities.”

The Gills were without an away win all season but were within a whisker of opening the scoring inside two minutes, striking the woodwork twice in one move.

First defender Jack Tucker headed against the post from a Charles-Cook cross before Stuart O’Keefe followed up with a shot off the frame of the goal.

However the tone was soon set for the game with Stanley on the front foot but ultimately frustrated as Mark Hughes had the ball in the net with the strike ruled out, Colby Bishop guided a Sam Finley cross against the foot of the post and the striker then forced a fine save from Gills keeper Jack Bonham with a header.

Soon the ball was in the net again when Offrande Zanzala found the target after Bishop’s header only to see the flag up for offside.

After the break it was more of the same for the hosts.

Zanzala drilled a shot from a tight angle that was pushed out by Bonham at the near post, Bishop followed up and hit the post and Sean McConville’s second rebound was blocked on the line by a defender as Stanley’s labours continued.

This time they were punished though with Gillingham doing what they’d failed to for almost an hour by finding the net.

Charles-Cook did the damage, spinning away from Hughes and bending a fine shot past Evtimov despite Aji Alese’s attempts to block.

Now the need for a goal was even more acute but Stanley found Bonham in inspired form.

The keeper parried a Bishop header from a corner away  before saving Jordan Clark’s deflected strike and keeping out a free kick from substitute Joe Pritchard.

Stanley now have one win from their last five in League One and Coleman knows that’s a concern, his side 18th in the table after an up and down start.

“You’ve got to accept that it’s all about winning the game,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter how you win it. It doesn’t matter how you play.

"I thought we played well enough today to win any game and unfortunately we didn’t.

"What do you change? Do you change the way you play if you’re playing well?

"People have to have the opportunity to put the ball in the net and if they don’t then others will.”