Mark Patterson delivers his thoughts on the development squad's 1-1 draw against Southend at Beechings Cross on Wednesday afternoon.

Mark Patterson says his side are looking forward to their new venture in the Final Third Southern Development League following an encouraging display against Southend at Beechings on Wednesday.

Michael Freiter bagged a deserved equalizer for the Gills in the final few minutes having enjoyed large spells of possession in the second half, with Southend having gone ahead shortly after the re-start.

Gills had opportunity to go ahead from the penalty spot but striker Aaron Millbank was desperately unlucky to strike the foot of the post and couldn’t reach the rebound.

There were chances for both sides after the break - Southend having gone in front before Gills eventually did find a way through in the 86th minute, and Mark was pleased with the performance considering his team haven’t played for a little while.

Following the game he said: “We haven’t had a game for a few weeks due to first team games and teams not being able to play for various reasons.

“We had a slow start and Southend were dominant in the early part of the game and Tom had to make a good save in the first 10 minutes, but gradually we got a foothold in the game.

Aaron headed wide on 12 minutes from Josh’s cross after some good link up play, then we got a penalty where Mahlon stepped inside the full back and got tripped.

“Aaron struck the post and he had another chance before the break where the keeper tipped a snap shot onto the woodwork.

“In the second half we had a goal kick which they returned with interest, their lad got between our centre half and full back and as Tom came out he side footed it past him.

“We started to build momentum but it became a counter attacking game with both teams pushing on, us looking for an equalizer and Southend looking for a second goal.  We got the goal late on via a corner; Michael Freiter fell back and hooked an overhead kick into the top corner.”

Gills: Hadler, Hare, Staunton, Dickinson, Bent, Romeo, Blanchard, Freiter, Sellens, Millbank, Webster.