Development boss pleased to progress in Kent Senior Cup...

Gills Development Manager Mark Patterson said he thought his side narrowly deserved victory in the first round of the Kent Senior Cup against Folkestone Invicta on Wednesday evening.

A goal from Alex Brown inside the last 10 minutes earnt the Gills a second round tie against Bromley, and Patterson said he was pleased with the overall performance.

Speaking after the game he said:

“We had quite a few half chances but then again so did Folkestone. They had one where we made a block on the line in the first half and in the second they had a few and Frankie Raymond put in a good block but overall I was pleased.”

Mark was asked if a different approach was required considering the fact his team were involved in a knockout competition for the first time this season.

He replied:

“It does yes because in the development games it’s not necessarily about the results but in a cup competition you play to win. They are professional players and we want to win every game and if you are not interested then you shouldn’t enter but that’s not how we think about things.

“It’s another game for the lads and when you play teams like Folkestone who are a good footballing team it gives them a good test – they passed the ball well in the first half and we had to keep our shape and for some of the younger ones it’s a new learning curve for them and I thought they coped well.”

Patterson was pleased to see one of his midfielders get on the score sheet having talked to the players about forward runs in the past couple of weeks, but also praised his forwards for their contribution.

He said: “We have talked to the midfield lads about running beyond the front line. It was a great ball from Frank [Raymond] and he found Alex who provided a nice finish.

“George Humber and Ashley Miller up front worked really hard and they could have one or two goals themselves but their work rate was good, ball retention could be better and that’s something we talk about quite often and when we did that we looked a threat.”

Finally Mark summed up how his squad are developing so far, and is aiming to have the players ready for first team action if required by Manager Martin Allen.

He said: “I’m pleased with the progression we are making and I think there have been strong performances consistently from some of them and that’s the main aim – to get them to a level, if the manager needs them in the first team, so they are able to step in.

“By no stretch of the imagination would I say they are all there but some are getting closer and the more performances they keep putting in like tonight then, if called upon, they will be ready to go and that’s what the squad is all about.”