Development coach talks to club website...
Gills development coach Mark Patterson says he was pleased for his players after seeing them grab a late equaliser against AFC Wimbledon.
The game, played at Beechings Cross on Tuesday, finished in a 1-1 draw with Jack Evans finishing off a creative team move with a right foot strike across the face of the goalkeeper.
The visitors had gone ahead with the last kick of the first half when Pim Balkestein’s free kick found its way underneath the wall and beyond Daren Hawkes who was unable to get his body behind it.
The development team, which contained a mixture of first team and youth players, battled until the end and deservedly got their goal with just a couple of minutes left to play.
Patto was full of praise for his squad after the match and said the players coped well with the weather.
Speaking exclusively to the club’s official website he said: “Considering the conditions we had in the morning when the groundsman was down there at 8.15 tending to the pitch to get the game on it looked like, at one point, we wouldn’t get the game on at all.
“Both teams played in the right manner, we played them a few weeks ago and we know the games will always be competitive. I think it was a fair result; we deserved the draw because of our endeavour and what we are trying to do.
“We could have won it but Daren also made a couple of smart saves when they got chances at the other end. We are talking about development football so it’s not about the results but I am pleased we got the equaliser.”
The goal itself was a fantastic team effort with the squad playing out from the back and Patto applauded the effort.
He said: “It was a great goal, everything about it. We have watched it again on the DVD and it was great play – a great switch from Bradley [Dack] over to Jack Evans, his first touch as it was in flight overlapped to young Josh Maughan at full back and he side footed one back across the goal to Evans to put one in the corner.
“It was a great goal.
“It’s pleasing because, firstly, the initial width Jack offered from Bradley’s ball across the pitch was excellent, Jack’s first touch was such a good one and he was in complete control of it, Josh Maughan ran about 40 yards to run the outside and overlap and gave him good information as he was going.
“Jack fed him down the line, Josh got away, looked up, saw the pass and gave him the ball back and Jack’s fired straight across the keeper. A great goal.
“He knows where the goal is and he has a positive mind when he’s shooting, he always has done and he probably had three or four chances. He skimmed the bar and the keeper made two saves so he’s not shy.”
The development side have played a lot of games recently and Patto is certainly seeing progress.
He added: “We have had a spell of half a dozen games recently which we have played every week and we have set up a programme for the lads and they have stuck at it well and put in some really good performances.
“Michael Freiter came on at centre half and put in a good show, Devante [McKain] played alongside him and put in some good tackles and he used the ball much better and is growing in confidence.
“We’ve had 15 games I think so far which is good and we have seen a lot of improved performances and on the technical side. “