Port Vale manager Micky Adams said knowing the threat of Adebayo Akinfenwa and stopping it are two different things after the striker fired Gillingham to thrilling 3-2 win.
Akinfenwa headed home Bradley Dack's 41st-minute corner for the opener and linked up with the midfielder again to double his and Gillingham's tally just after the hour-mark.
After Cody McDonald had added a third Port Vale fought back with goals from defender Chris Robertson and substitute Jordan Hugill, but the visitors could not find an equaliser and Adams was left rueing the effect Gills striker Akinfenwa had had on the game.
"Big Akinfenwa, I know he's a handful, but you've got to deal with brute force," Adams said.
"We assigned Tom Pope to mark him, because he's a big strong boy, but Akinfenwa fended him off like he wasn't there for the first goal.
"Their second goal from the second phase of a corner, and we didn't deal with him again.
"Every time I've played against him for this football club, I've not had a centre-half who could deal with him.
"If you get into a wrestling match with him at any time, there's only going to be one winner.
"I think that we need to get back to basics in terms of defending set pieces, because we're conceding too many.
"We've got players who should be able to deal with that type of play, but they didn't here.
"This was an away-day performance that we've seen a few times this season.
"It's not really a shock what happened and I told the players that I felt sorry for the fans because they were windy and wet in the away end, and we didn't given them anything to cheer about."
Gillingham boss Peter Taylor was relieved his side's late collapse did not cost them the three points.
"For 70 minutes we were outstanding," Taylor said. "I think we asked a lot of questions of Port Vale and we scored three excellent goals.
"However in the last 20 minutes, we went from doing well to being incredibly nervous and panicked.
"I told the players after the game that we've got to do better than that, we've got to be stronger than that.
"I'm delighted with Bayo (Akinfenwa) because he scored two great goals and his back-to-goal play was excellent.
"Bradley Dack showed outstanding ability for the third goal, in particular, which Cody finished off well.
"If you beat a Micky Adams side you know you've done well because they're tough sides to beat, they've got a lot going for them.
"I'm over the moon the way the players got a result, but we can also learn a lot from the game."