Visitors snatch late winner in strong performance for development squad
The Gills development squad were unlucky to lose 2-1 against Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday at Beechings Cross after a fantastic display at the club’s training ground.
Nathan Nyafli scored five minutes before the interval after some great work by Kane Haysman which eventually saw Aaron Millbank round the keeper before playing in the striker at the near post.
The visitors equalized midway through the second half before a strong counter attacking move two minutes from time was enough to clinch a comeback win for the Daggers.
Development boss Mark Patterson said he was encouraged by the performance and said his side didn’t deserve to lose.
Speaking to the club website he said: “It was a really good game and it was a good performance – everybody contributed well to the match and did their jobs properly.
“I thought we created a lot of good chances and there were some quality crosses coming in, especially down the right hand side from Jack Parter.
“They did everything that we ask of them, and on another day we could have had a couple more goals.
“I was pleased with the application and what we tried to do because we have been playing slightly differently, and it’s worked.
“We have got people in the right areas and we look a threat. We were strong on the counter attack and it was very positive.
“Our ball retention was good and the switching of play was excellent.
“We worked on that with the strikers – you see in matches that the ball goes out wide, comes in to the box and there is no-one there following it in.
“Nathan ended up scoring at the near post, he ran all the way from the far left side to get on the end of it. Kane Haysman did well to link play up; Aaron Millbank went around the keeper and played in a nice side foot cross.
“It was a well worked goal – the ball never left the floor, there was good movement and interchanging of positions and it was fully justified.
“To concede as we did was a bit disappointing because we work on defending set pieces and I’m unsure what happened really. A cross came in to the near post but I’m going to have to look at it again as I think it was an own goal.
“For their second we had a decent break, lost the ball in their area and a couple of passes later they have scored. We finished with five apprentices on the pitch with Mahlon Romeo, Aiden Blanchard, Michael Freiter, Josh Staunton, Tom Gowans and Kane is an only a third year scholar.
“We are able to compete even with a relatively young team but that’s what development Football is all about.”
Gills:Howard (Gowans 81), Parter (Romeo 67), Trialist, Haysman, McKain, Hare (Freiter 67), Webster (Staunton 67), Hessenthaler, Millbank (Blanchard 67), Nyafli, Miller.