Gills Professional Development Academy Manager reflects on Friday's 3-0 FA Youth Cup defeat
Gills Academy Manager Mark Patterson praised his side's application and desire in Friday's FA Youth Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Although the Owls under-18s ran out 3-0 winners in the game, the fourth-round tie was much tighter than the scoreline suggested, with the Gills having more chances across the 90 minutes against their higher-ranked opposition.
"In any game that finishes 3-0, it may seem difficult to try to look for any positives, but we did OK," said Patterson. "We had chances, we played the way we wanted to play – making it more like a cup tie, as opposed to the type of league games that Sheffield Wednesday are used to - and I felt our effort, willingness, and determination were good.
"We were under no illusions as to how hard it was going to be; Wednesday have good technical players, their forward and wingers are lively. Maybe at times we could have used the ball better, and we know collectively in certain situations we could have done better."
Wednesday scored twice in five minutes just after the halfway point in the opening 45, before wrapping up their victory with a third within a minute of the restart.
Patterson added: "The goals changed the game; up to their first, they hadn’t really been anywhere near our box. The second was our own undoing, we got caught on the counter.
"I never thought at any point that we’d get washed away, but to go from 0-0 to 2-0 down within five minutes means you’re quickly up against it.
"At half-time we said to the players that we couldn’t get back in the game in the first five minutes of the second half, but that we could get knocked out of it. We shot ourselves in the foot by conceding a few seconds after kick-off, even if it was a great finish.
"After a ragged 10 minutes or so, as the players adjusted to a new shape we went with for the second half, and they did really well. We had two or three decent chances, and it would have been nice to crown it with a goal."
New head coach Ady Pennock travelled to Hillsborough for the game, and watched the full 90 minutes alongside first-team coach Jamie Day.
"They came into the dressing room before and after the game, which was great for the players," added Patterson. "They were pleased with what they saw.
"Looking back, the challenge was for the team to get to the third round, which they bettered. We’ve got to do it again next year, and the players quickly set that goal after the game."