Gillingham reviews....

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Gillingham reviews....

Postby ACDon » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:27 am

Hardly a classic but we got 3 very welcome points against a Gillingham side who looked awful for the first twenty minutes but slowly got themselves back into the game and came very close to coming away with a share of the points. We were quick out of the blocks yesterday (very similar to the Shrewsbury home game a few weeks ago) but for whatever reason, we seemed to take our foot off the pedal and let Gillingham back into the game.

It was pleasing to see Robbie Muirhead finally get off the mark with his first goal for us and what a goal it was, I doubt if he will ever score many better than that in his career! In the last few weeks his form and work rate have slowly but surely improved and to have the confidence to shoot from that sort of range says a lot about the lad. The goal was well over due but he is young and hopefully he will build on his recent showings.

We have had a bad season, our form has been patchy at best, but it does frustrate me when I hear some of our fans saying that Lewie should go, I thought he was our MOTM yesterday, he won virtually every header and tackle, his distribution and reading of the game was on a different level to the majority of the players out there yesterday and to top it all off he scored the vital goal which won us the three points. I did say as soon as we got the free kick, " we've only really got one player capable of scoring from a header from this kind of position" and up popped Lewie. Superb!!

I do sometimes think our supporters over react to some refereeing decisions/performances but the horror tackle on O'Keefe was well worthy of a red card, O'Keefe and Lewie were totally in order to show the Ref the evidence of (stud marks I assume) around O'Keefe's knee. Despite missing an open goal, it was good to see Dean Bowditch back out there playing, his skill and movement adds a touch of class to our side.

There is still a lot of work to be done but after some of the limp performances we have witnessed recently, the positives out weigh the negatives and IMO we deserved the three points. :D

Any thoughts?
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Re: Gillingham reviews....

Postby Furzdonny » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:34 am

Another excellent report AC.

I was impressed with Robbie Muihead up front, but feel he lacks pace on the wing. When we started with two front we looked dangerous, but open to counter attack on our right. I was right behind Robbie's goal and it was a peach. I was also impressed with how Harvey Barnes found space and we should have made more of it; but we struggled with one up front and I would have swapped Robbie for Kieran Agard or least rotated them with Harvey Barnes, who went quiet in the 2nd half..

I was also right near the foul on Stuart O'Keefe and it was a bad one, but I guess the ref didn't see it and if he didn't see it, he couldn't have given the foul, although I am sure he realised it afterwards. A good finish to the game and I haven't heard a roar like that for a long time. I'm not sure about Dean Bowditch either,clearly he has a footballers brain, but his lack of speed, means I feel that he is on his way out and I guess that's why many of them don't do the crowd applause at the end, which I miss. I agree about Lewie though and if we can go with wing backs next season, I believe he will make an excellent left defender.
Last edited by Furzdonny on Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gillingham reviews....

Postby LinsladeDon » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:36 am

Maybe it wasn't a classic but it was enjoyable and a great improvement on recent games - and it showed just how fine the line between despair and euphoria can be at times :D
First half we were streets ahead and really should have been 'out of sight' by half-time but, typically Dons, we let Gills back into it second half and almost paid the price for doing so.
'Keeper had a mixed game, excellent save from a one-on-one, unlucky with the penalty, good punched clearance and distribution but also had a couple of very dodgy moments.
At the back both Lewie and Walsh were on top of their game which was just as well Baldock and Williams were a bit under par.
In the middle O'Keefe was outstanding. Never stops working, shows some leadership and had to be a MOTM contender.
And then we had Muirhead! Like O'Keefe, he never stops working, on the move all the time, defending and foraging up front. He made himself a goal (of the season?) out of nothing - and it wasn't a fluke. He has tried shots like that in the past and been ridiculed for it! Yes, his first touch can be a bit heavy at times, yes he isn't particularly good in the air and no, he doesn't use his height and weight to advantage but he is still young and learning. Coming here was a culture shock for him but he is adapting to our style of play, is settling down and has a good friendship with Harvey Barnes, and, as his mum says, "All he wants now is to get a goal." Well, he did exactly that yesterday and fully deserved his MOTM award.
Verdict overall - I am still euphoric :D
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Re: Gillingham reviews....

Postby ACDon » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:38 pm

Furzdonny wrote:Another excellent report AC.

I was impressed with Robbie Muihead up front, but feel he lacks pace on the wing. When we started with two front we looked dangerous, but open to counter attack on our right. I was right behind Robbie's goal and it was a peach. I was also impressed with how Harvey Barnes found space and we should have made more of it; but we struggled with one up front and I would have swapped Robbie for Kieran Agard or least rotated them with Harvey Barnes, who went quiet in the 2nd half..

I was also right near the foul on Stuart O'Keefe and it was a bad one, but I guess the ref didn't see it and if he didn't see it, he couldn't have given the foul, although I am sure he realised it afterwards. A good finish to the game and I haven't heard a roar like that for a long time. I'm not sure about Dean Bowditch either,clearly he has a footballers brain, but his lack of speed, means I feel that he is on his way out and I guess that's why many of them don't do the crowd applause at the end, which I miss. I agree about Lewie though and if we can go with wing backs next season, I believe he will make an excellent left defender.



Cheers Furzdonny, good comments from you too. Regarding Bowditch; I can see why supporters get frustrated with him, particularly when we are struggling, because he is not the sort of player you are going to see flying into tackles, putting his body on the line and charging around the pitch, but like you said, he does have a good footballer's brain and for the football purist some of his flicks, touches and movement are a joy to see. I would keep him because most good sides in any league have a Dean Bowditch type player in their side.
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Re: Gillingham reviews....

Postby dons50 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:34 pm

Good reviews guys, agree with most of what's been said.

What do people think of Reeves playing at wing back. He's a good, intelligent footballer, and can adapt to most positions, but it feels a bit of a waste to me.
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Re: Gillingham reviews....

Postby MKDF » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:20 pm

Goods reviews.

I've always enjoyed Bowditch's class in this league and Saturday was no exception - but his lack of pace showed most in the Championship. Hope he'll be with us next season. Three great goals in different ways, and such a shame Nicholls didn't pull off the second save. Really good performance from him. Barnes was terrible with most of his passes, but he's entitled to the odd stinker. Good to see Muirhead gain some effectiveness. Still massive question marks over O'Keefe, mainly his decision making, which for me are usually the wrong ones.

As for Lewie, consistently our classiest player. Coasted for most of yesterday but still looked quality.

Overall I enjoyed the game which had lots of incidents. Can't ask for much more in our current position. Next season (when it really matters) I'd like to see 90 minutes of consistent intensity rather than 10 at the start and 5 at the end.


D50 I also thought Reeves was largely ineffective.
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Re: Gillingham reviews....

Postby ACDon » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:43 am

On the subject of goal keepers, I thought Nicholls did reasonably well without entirely filling me with confidence. I've never been a big David Martin fan and I agree the goal keeper's position needs addressing but at this moment in not convinced Nicholls is any better and the problem with this particular position, you can't exactly wait for someone to improve and learn from their mistakes (particularly if they are making a lot of them). With David Martin rumoured to be leaving, there are a lot of decent keepers around in leagues 1 and 2, so now is the time to start looking, though (again rumour has it) it is already in hand.
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Re: Gillingham reviews....

Postby dons50 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:53 pm

MKDF wrote: Still massive question marks over O'Keefe, mainly his decision making, which for me are usually the wrong ones.

That's because we're so used to Potter who (nearly) always makes the right choices.


MKDF wrote:As for Lewie, consistently our classiest player. Coasted for most of yesterday but still looked quality .

Agreed


MKDF wrote:D50 I also thought Reeves was largely ineffective.

I thought he did the wing back's job pretty well. I'm not really sure why, if he wanted to play three centre backs, he didn't play Tilney at LWB and play Reeves where he can be most effective.
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Re: Gillingham reviews....

Postby Furzdonny » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:24 pm

dons50 wrote:
MKDF wrote: Still massive question marks over O'Keefe, mainly his decision making, which for me are usually the wrong ones.

That's because we're so used to Potter who (nearly) always makes the right choices.


MKDF wrote:As for Lewie, consistently our classiest player. Coasted for most of yesterday but still looked quality .

Agreed


MKDF wrote:D50 I also thought Reeves was largely ineffective.

I thought he did the wing back's job pretty well. I'm not really sure why, if he wanted to play three centre backs, he didn't play Tilney at LWB and play Reeves where he can be most effective.


Did we play wing backs? George Baldock got forward a lot, but for most of the time Lewie was in left back territory, although as a defender and support only, while Ben Reeves was stuck on the wing.
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Re: Gillingham reviews....

Postby Furzdonny » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:32 pm

In regards to Dean Bowditch, he is 30 years old, frequently injured, with this season 9 goals (5 in the league), 3 assists ( 1 in the league) and 14 shots (7 in the league), although all have been on target. I just don't think we get a good enough return. I also believe it is time to let a few of the high earners go and I put him in that category.
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