By Jon Harries
“We shot ourselves in the foot again” is the main quote to take out of Tuesday night’s post-match press conference. But the game at Priestfield didn’t start like that, Gillingham kicked off and then didn’t get a touch until Bonham picked the ball out of the net 55 touches later, a goal of that quality in League 1 is completely unheard of, but this is the “Process” in full effect as Will Grigg finished off an amazing move.
After that Gillingham made a tactical switch and grew into the game. They equalised when O’Hora handled inside the box and Jordan Graham dispatched the penalty, a lifeline for Gillingham. Then a mix-up in the defence between Darling and Surman allowed Vadaine Oliver to break clear and give the Gills the lead just before 6 minutes of added time was called in the first half which gave the Dons time to equalise, O’Hora making up for earlier finishing off a cross from Grigg after a neat freekick routine. Half time and all square.
Usually the second half is the half we push on, but not this time. In fairness to Gillingham their organisation was immense and did not give us a sniff of a chance, Jerome forcing a save from Bonham the best we could muster before the killer blow. Another long throw our undoing allowing Connor Ogilvie time to volley the ball home inside the box. From then on Gillingham comfortably held out for the win. Frustrating, as for large parts we kept them at arm’s length, but three lapses of concentration cost us, hopefully the squad will learn and be stronger for this.
Saturday’s opponents Wigan Athletic also lost on Tuesday, 1-0 to erratic Charlton. Chuks Aneke with the only goal of the game capitalising on a defensive mix-up to notch up another away day Addicks success. A very professional display once again, and it does mean 4 defeats in the last 5 for Wigan who it feels have no luck on or off the pitch in the last 12 months.
There is still no sign of a permanent owner, Paul Cook having to leave alongside the majority of their Championship squad to basically save the club. Even the fans young and old were raising money for club that won the FA Cup not so long ago. I genuinely hope they find a resolution soon as I had a great away day at the DW (even if we lost 5-1 that day).
Interim gaffer Leam Richardson is doing a phenomenal job considering the amount of youth he’s been forced to use over the course of the season. In January they had to be shrewd in recruitment. Jamie Jones in goal is a very good goalkeeper, ex Don Scott Wootton and Curtis Tilt have added much needed experience in defence. Joe Dodoo and Zach Clough haven’t fulfilled their potential but add individual quality. Thelo Aasgaard is the youth player to look out for and is probably the best valuable asset should it be needed.
Callum Lang could be also one to watch. At the time of writing he may not be available on Saturday, but if he is, he’s a proven goal scorer. He had very successful loan spells at Oldham and Shrewsbury with his work rate and endeavour notable, and at only 22 he has a bright future whether that’s with Wigan or not.
Predicted Line Up
Laird – O’Hora – Darling – Lewington – Jules
Houghton – O’Riley – Fraser
Grigg – Jerome
I think the time is right to rest Surman and even if Houghton only plays an hour he offers something different. If Harvie is fit maybe start him but something needs to change in the back 6.
I predict a 3-1 away win with the hope of a Grigg hat trick. Sorry Wigan fans. We have 3 home games in a row after this. Let’s end this week and return to Stadium MK on a high.
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