Steve Lovell: Gillingham boss reflects on bittersweet FA Cup defeat at Swansea
Gillingham boss Steve Lovell said Saturday's 4-1 FA Cup loss at hometown club Swansea City was an emotional return full of poignant memories.
The ex-Wales forward, 58, was born and raised in Swansea and his late father Alan played in the club's reserves and was a season-ticket holder.
"Before the game I was a bit [emotional] as my dad would've loved to have been there to see this," he said.
"He would've been proud - but also happy as Swansea won 4-1."
Lovell's League One side fell behind at the Liberty Stadium as Oli McBurnie struck twice for the Championship hosts.
Josh Rees pulled a goal back for the Gills early in the second half to provide hope of another upset, with Lovell's side having knocked out Premier League Cardiff City in the previous round.
But two more Swansea goals from Bersant Celina and Barrie McKay ended Gillingham's FA Cup adventure for this season.
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"I enjoyed it, apart from the result! I enjoyed the second half as we changed it up at half-time," Lovell, who played on loan for Swansea during his career, told BBC Sport Wales.
"There was a sense of relief that we were getting into the game and starting to do the things that we can do, but the third goal did rock us and won the game for Swansea.
"It's great to come back to your home town and home stadium. It's a great stadium and great crowd - who I thought were brilliant behind the team.
"As a kid growing up, my dad took me to the old Vetch Field [Swansea's former stadium] and it was my first sight of football that I had. Standing on the north bank with my dad, I can remember that quite vividly.
"He put a lot of time and effort into me to become a professional footballer.
"It would've been lovely for him to see it but my mum and sister will give me all the pats on the back when I see them, as I need it at the moment... and my mum's cooking.
"My mum's a Swansea supporter so she may give me a bit more. Whatever she cooks I'll eat it as I do as I'm told - even at my age!"