Seamus Conneely knows lessons will be learned following Stanley’s Sky Bet League One opening day defeat to Gillingham.

The captain was gutted as the Reds lost their unbeaten home record in 2018 with first half goals from Brandon Hanlan and Josh Parker.

“There are lessons to be learned,” said Conneely, 30. “We were caught out in the first half, we were like a rabbit in headlights, and we were probably lucky to be just 2-0 down at half-time.

“In the second half, we were better, we upped our game but we have learnt, at this level, mistakes are costly. If you make a mistake you get punished in League One and we were.

“We are also disappointed to lose our unbeaten home record in this year. Home form is important in any division as we showed last season, our home form played a massive part in us going up.”

The Gills were 2-0 up by half-time and could then relax in the second half, despite the Reds having a couple of chances and a penalty shout.

“Gillingham went 2-0 and let us have more of the ball in the second half and soaked up any pressure we threw at them.

“I think we have also learnt that, in League One, the first goal is even more crucial than last season. They did to us what we did to teams last year, got the first goal and then soaked up the pressure and hit teams on the break.”

The captain, however, was pleased with the league debut of teenager Ross Sykes despite the scoreline.

“It’s great that a lad has come through from the youth team into the first team and has fit in. He is learning but we are all learning in this league as well.”

The Reds have been the subject of a hectic week with Janoi Donacien moving to Ipswich, and making his debut on Saturday in their 2-2 draw with Blackburn Rovers, and Kayden Jackson being the subject of a couple of bids which the Reds have turned down.

“It goes with the territory, when the team is successful as bigger clubs come looking, we knew it would happen,” added Conneely.

“The gaffer and Jimmy (Bell) kept us focused on the game though so there are no excuses.

“It’s just a shame we have seven days until the next game but we will be raring to go at Bristol Rovers.”