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League One

Gillingham boss Peter Taylor backs goalkeeper Stephen Bywater

20 August 2014

Gillingham boss Peter Taylor insists he has no doubt on-loan goalkeeper Stephen Bywater can pick himself up from a horrid error that handed Swindon a point at the Priestfield Stadium.

Danny Kedwell had given the Gills a ninth-minute lead and although Andy Williams equalised just before half-time, Kortney Hause restored the home side's advantage with a great strike soon after the break.

But in stoppage time Bywater spilled Raphael Branco's tame cross into his own net to gift the visitors a share of the points, and the Millwall loanee was visibly distraught with his mistake at the final whistle.

Taylor believes his number one will prove he has the mental strength to bounce back, having performed exceptionally well in the manager's eyes up until his misjudgement.

"Stephen [Bywater] was outstanding, he pulled off some outstanding saves and I'm sorry for him, he was really down in the changing room after," said Taylor, who was sent to the stands at the final whistle for a confrontation with opposition boss Mark Cooper.

"I told him I'm not worried about mistakes. I'm more concerned about how people recovered from them. He would have learned from that. He was first class.

"If anything, Swindon had more chances and they look a good football team. I'm disappointed their second goal was a mistake by us, but overall they deserved a draw at least.

"The players had a frustrating night but they worked hard, and they had to fight for everything they got. We changed our system a bit, and in the second half it helped.

"I see some good signs this season. I think it's a good point, it could have been three, but it's a good point."

Kedwell blocked Wes Foderingham's clearance to score early on but Williams' well-placed effort two minutes before the break evened things up.

Hause's 20-yard blockbuster put the Gills ahead once more but with Bywater's howler giving Swindon a point, Town boss Cooper admitted he was relieved they had something to show for their efforts.

"I cannot envisage standing here having not have got anything from the game," said Cooper after the 2-2 draw. "I would have been distraught. We had to go to the wire to get a point, which is the very least we deserved.

"Anybody who has watched us in these past two games has seen two tremendous performances. I'm pleased with our never say die attitude and our desire to get back in the game.

"We cannot concede goals like we did, because we had to chase a game that should have been finished at half-time. We scrapped to get that equaliser, and we managed to get a little bit of luck which was the least we deserved.

"Emotions ran high and a few words were exchanged [after the equaliser]. When you score that late you tend to celebrate with too much gusto, but there was no malice in it from our point of view."

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