STANLEY boss John Coleman was left ruing “two soft goals” as his side suffered a 2-1 defeat against Gillingham at the Wham Stadium.

Charlie Kelman opened the scoring before Vadaine Oliver managed to get the better of Liam Isherwood, who was making his full debut for the Reds.

Coleman’s men pulled one back late on through Colby Bishop’s penalty after Harvey Rodgers was brought down in the box.

But the Stanley boss felt his side should have had another spot kick in stoppage time for a challenge on Ross Sykes.

He said: “It was a terrible game in the first half, a poor advert for football. Then it was night and day. I asked my players to be more on the front foot in the second half and take control, and they did.

“We had some really good chances but then we conceded two soft goals from set-pieces, that’s poor defending from us.

“It was a rip-roaring finish and we got given the weakest of our three penalty appeals. I don’t know how the foul on Ross is not a penalty, there can be no explanation as it was a penalty. I am at my wits’ end to know why it wasn’t given.

“But they are fighting for their lives, they have had two chances and scored both and they have got the win.

“Did we deserve to win on the first-half showing? No. Did we deserve it on the second half? Yes, comfortably, but it doesn’t always happen.”

The result leaves Coleman’s men 13th in the League One table with seven matches still to play before the end of the season.

The Reds are back in league action on Saturday, April 2 when host Michael Duff’s Cheltenham (KO 3pm).