Development Manager gives his thoughts on the weekend's tournament
Gills Development Manager Mark Patterson said his side should have won both games on Sunday when they took part in the 130 year anniversary trophy competition at Chatham Town.
The Gills were joined by the Royal Engineers and Chatham themselves, all of which are celebrating various anniversaries this season, and it was the home side who came away victorious on goal difference after every team claimed a win.
Chatham had already beaten the Engineers 5-1 before the Gills took to the field, but the Engineers responded well and won 3-2, although a dubious penalty decision cost Patterson’s side late on.
They dusted themselves off though and beat the Chats 2-1; however due to the scoreline in the first game it was Chatham who took the glory.
Despite a disappointing result in the first game Patterson took the positives out of the tournament and wants his side to kick on in the coming weeks.
He said: “The engineers’ game was definitely a game where we had chances to win. I’m not being picky but we had 10/12 clear chances and took two of them. In any level of football you have to score and we conceded a penalty in the last minute but the game should have been dead and buried.”
“We know that and that’s part of it – we didn’t get to grips quickly enough with the state of the game. The grass was a bit long and we were trying to be a bit too precise and clever instead of making them turn around because they played such a high line.
“Our final selection in that game wasn’t quite good enough in that game but I’m pleased we created the chances and on another day we would have scored a few more goals but we didn’t.
“We then came up against Chatham and I thought it was a much better performance, we made better decisions and we changed our shape a little bit. We played 4-4-2 rather than 4-3-3 and it seemed to suit us better.
“Maybe we got to grips with the pitch and the heat but we’re not making excuses, it was the same for all three teams.
“Overall though there were some positives – plenty of things to work on, it’s pre-season so we are still getting our fitness levels up. I thought we looked fit; it didn’t look like we were flagging at any time which is pleasing.
“We take it forward and we move on to the next one but there are things we can work on over the next few days, talk about them and put it right.
“Overall I was pleased – the second game especially. Obviously we will be happier because we won it but our application to it was better than the first. Decisions were clearer, they were better and we took more responsibility in certain situations.
“It was a good day’s work and I really enjoyed it.”
The manager said despite the fact things do need to be altered slightly he would never criticise his players as they are giving everything they can to aid their own development.
He added: “Part of this development role is that we analyse what is going on and can improve things. We will look at it, we’ve spoken to the lads after the game and there are little things that we need to tweak.
“For us, it’s about developing the players. It’s not necessarily about
“It’s been a very positive day for us. We learnt a lot about our players, learnt a lot about the future. Some have been playing youth football and it’s the first time that they have played against men. Some of them found it harder than before and some of them have come through with flying colours.
winning the cups, but we came here to try to win it because that’s what it’s all about, although we never quite did it.
“We are not critical of them but we try to analyse their decisions. If we get into the same situation next time can they make a difference which may get a difference outcome.
“Following on from the other night we said don’t get caught on the ball under your feet, move it quickly and a couple of times today we found that difficult because we were a bit slow but that improved in the second game and that gave us better opportunities.”
Patterson singled out a couple of individuals for their contribution during the course of the afternoon.
He said: “Charlie Webster [a first year apprentice] came on and looked likely. He got two goals and could have had plenty more - he’s very bright and it’s nice to see him taking his chances well.
“There’s plenty of things to work on him but he’s taking players on, putting good crosses in. It’s encouraging.
“Alex Brown picked it up and ran through the middle of the pitch. That’s what Alex is good at, picking the ball up and running at people. He was disappointed after the first game. He felt he was off the pace and he seemed he couldn’t get into the game.
"He looked bright and right on half-time to put us 2-0 up was a nice way for him to finish off his afternoon's work because we know he can do that and that's what we encourage him to do."