Mark Patterson's squad shine despite defeatGillingham’s Development squad put in a fine performance against their AFC Bournemouth counterparts at Beechings Cross this afternoon but were eventually beaten 3-1 after two goals in the final 15 minutes.
Mark Patterson named a mixed squad of players, skippered by Jack Parter, from the first-team, the Development set-up, youth team members and trialist’s, taking the opportunity to use 20 players in all.
There was some nice football played by the Gills in an excellent team performance, building from the back well but it would be unfair to pick out particular individuals.
The first opening of the game came in the 10th minute, Romeo crossing from the right for Ashley Miller but the young forward put his header wide from eight yards.
A trialist made a great block at the near post denied Jayden Stockley but it was the Cherries striker that opened the scoring in the 27th minute clipping the ball past Daren Hawkes from the edge of the area.
Both teams had ‘goals’ ruled out before an Alex Moth snapshot for Chris Hargreaves side smacked against the bar and then Parter was in the right place to clear a low shot off the line.
The Gills ended the half holding the upper hand, Nathan Nyafli glanced a header inches wide, before two of the trialists went close. The first, a dipping long-range effort, burst through the hands of Bournemouth keeper Benjamin Buchel and bounced wide off of his nose. From the resulting Jake Hessenthaler corner saw a header put over at the far post.
Three minutes into the second-half the Gills were deservedly level. Hessenthaler laid a corner out to Romeo, he crossed to the far post, Connor Essam, who played 80 minutes on his return from a loan spell at Luton Town, nodded the ball back across the goal for Josh Hare to nod in from close range.
Ross Flitney, one of two half-time substitutes, required treatment after bravely blocking Stockley before at the other end both Evans and Hessenthaler put shots over the top.
Buchel then tipped a 20-yarder from Evans over the top and Hare hit the outside of a post following a goalmouth scramble.
Then in the 75th minute the visitors re-took the lead, a right-wing cross was met by Clive Makoni who beat Flitney with a close-range downward header.
The Gills keeper blocked a far post effort from Harrison Gilkes but Bournemouth did go further ahead with 12 minutes remaining. A great run from midfield ended with a low shot against the post but substitute Makoni was on hand to smash home the rebound.
In the closing stages the home side looked to hit back, Michael Freiter twice went close, Evans had a fierce free-kick touched over and Kane Haysman put a shot on the turn over the top.
Team – Hawkes (Flitney H/T), Romeo, Parter (Carter 60), Hare (Freiter 70), Essam (Trialist 80), McKain (Trialist 80), Hessenthaler (Trialist 80), Trialist (Brunt 60), Nyafli (Haysman 65), Evans, Miller (Humber H/T)