Development boss delivers thoughts following Whitstable win
Gills Development Manager Mark Patterson said he was delighted with his side’s performance following the 3-0 win over Whitstable Town at the Belmont Ground on Thursday evening.
Ben May, Aaron Millbank and Frankie Raymond got the goals for the visitors, all of which were watched by First Team Manager Martin Allen, First Team Coach John Schofield and Director of Football Andy Hessenthaler.
The hosts fielded a familiar face in their starting eleven with former Gills midfielder and Assistant Manager Nicky Southall lining up in the centre of the park, but Patterson’s side looked stronger throughout and their patience and quality eventually shone through.
Speaking exclusively to the club’s official website Patterson said:
“It was similar to games we have had at other clubs – we knew it would be a battle for the younger ones and it proved that way. We rose to the challenge really well and the hard work the lads have been doing in training in the last few weeks really showed.
“We over ran them really – there were a couple of opportunities towards the end where they nearly got through but generally I was really pleased with our play and there was some outstanding performances.”
The manager highlighted a couple of individuals for the part they played but was thrilled with all of his players.
He added: “Michael Fretier came on, he’s a first year apprentice and he was excellent in the second half and he used the ball well. Ashley and George combined well up front, caused havoc and did well.
“The centre halves were good and the full backs joined in and did what we expect of them and across the midfield Alex [Brown] was in there, he trained with the first team and played tonight so he’s got a right to be a bit tired but he’s with the first team because the manager has liked what he has seen.
“It’s a bonus for him and he put in a good shift – we had a trialist called Frank Raymond who came in today - he didn’t know anybody and scored a great left foot shot. He used the ball intelligently, helped to link things up.
“Connor Morris, previously of Charlton, played in a slightly unfamiliar position of wide midfield and put in a good shift. I was really pleased with what we saw and it’s nice to see the things we have been practising and talking about coming in to play.”
Patterson commented on Southall’s performance – the two of them played in the same team for the Gills over ten years ago, and after suggesting his fitness may not be as good as it once was he also said Whitstable would do well with him among the staff.
He said: “He’s finished, his legs are gone! I was going to bring myself on at one point, if he was fit he would have got at least 70. He did well; the first thing he did in the game was control the ball out of the sky and switch the play.
“We know he has been a great player and I’m sure Whitstable will benefit from his experience this season.
“They have got the makings of a decent team and that’s what made it even more pleasing for us. It’s the first timer he has seen them play in a competitive game and I think he was pleased with what he saw and the lads did themselves no harm at all.”