Matt MacArthur and Kai Garrett both on target as youth team seal maximum points at home to Orient.
Gillingham 4-1 Leyton Orient
Beechings Cross, January 8
With Mark Moss
Goals: Chambers, Garrett, MacArthur, Smith (pen)
“It was probably a closer game than 4-1 would suggest; it was 0-0 at half-time. The first half was quite tight and, if anything, they perhaps shaded it.
“It was a tough game because of the conditions. They had a couple of shots but never really opened us up as such; we struggled to get to grips with the conditions a bit, against the wind. In the second half it came to life, they scored quite early to go 0-1 up. It was a scrappy period for us and in the first ten minutes we were on the back foot, they started quite brightly and we cleared one off the line before they scored.
“Tom Crump made a good save, we then equalized shortly after they scored through Josh Chambers, it went straight through anyone and that was pleasing because we had worked on set pieces, although it went straight in the movement was, I thought, distracting.
“Kai Garrett then scored a really good goal with Freddie Carter assisting. This was all in the space of 10-15mins. We then got a penalty, Kai chased a bit of a lost cause, got the wrong side of the defender a penalty was given.
“Ethan Smith scored that quite comprehensively and then Matt MacArthur came on and scored following some good skill from Josh Chambers. We had one disallowed from another set piece; Jo Gbode won the diving header but was given offside.
“We then got a bit comfortable and in the last seven or eight minutes we took our foot off the gas and they had a couple of chances, if they’d have got one it could have been more interesting but, ultimately, we defended well but didn’t make very good decisions when we had the ball in that period.”
Mark has been in place for just over a month now and is pleased to see some of the work on the training ground being replicated in games.
“There was probably a 25-minute period in the second half on Saturday where we played exactly how I want them to play in terms of tempo and aggression,” he said. “We played forward, they were positive and I wat that to become more consistent rather than a 25-minute block, I want that toe eventually go over a 90-minute period.
“With the set pieces you can see what we are trying to do, it just takes time to implement but the pleasing thing is that the players are buying into it.”
Gills: Crump, Giles (Leach), Gale, Carter, Akehurst, Kuhr, Chambers, Smith, Sithole (MacArthur), Gbode, Garrett.
Subs: T Smith, De Wilde, Dani Taylor-Pratt.