Gills earn a point in their first match of the new youth seasonGills Youth Coach Steve Lovell reports
After a good break in the summer our players came back in good condition after the fitness programmes we gave them and have worked hard in pre-season.
Our first league game against Southend was a very good contest with Southend being one of the favourites for the title.
We started very brightly and had seven corners in the first 20 minutes with Mitchell Dickenson and Harry Stannard going close on two occasions.
Southend took the lead against the run of play in the 30th minute with a well worked goal, but we responded well and were awarded a penalty when Danny Adams was fouled.
Dan picked himself up but unfortunately the spot kick was well saved.
The second half was all us and we got our rewards in the 60th minute when Ryan Crandley finished off a goal flowing move.
We went down to ten men for the last 15 minutes when we lost Chris Haigh, Danny Leonard and Mitchell Welch to injury, but we hung on well for a 1-1 draw.
Gills Team: Chris Haigh, Callum Emptage, Mitchell Welch, Joe Nougbele, Riccardo Thompson, Mitchell Dickenson, Danny Adams, Ryan Crandley, Harry Stannard, Bradley Stevenson, Ross Ibbertson.
Subs: Sam Stewart, Henry Newcombe, Danny Leonard