Town’s forgettable October continued on Tuesday night as Connor Mahoney’s deflected goal was enough to hand Michael Flynn’s side another defeat to make it just four points from a possible fifteen in League Two.
After conceding a 95th-minute equaliser on Saturday to drop two points, the Town Faithful needed a reaction, and despite having 3-4 good chances to earn a point, Gillingham keeper Jake Turner was always a match to it.
It’s no coincidence that since the goals have dried up for Jake Young, Towns form has taken a nose dive, as the 22-year striker is now seven games without a goal since his brace against Sutton United.
The on-loan striker had the best chance of the night in a red shirt as he skied his header from three yards over the bar in added time.
But we know the tide will turn, as he is still getting goal-scoring opportunities. We’ve already seen he’s a talented player who can score goals for fun, he needs that one confidence-boosting goal, and we’ll see the best of him again.
It was a night of mixed emotions for Harrison Minturn, as the Town youth graduate made his first start of the season after impressing on several occasions this season.
As a fan it’s encouraging to see players make their way up your club’s youth system and appear in the first team, it’s been clear for a while that the 19-year-old has a future in the game.
But he didn’t enjoy his best game for Town, as he and his defensive colleagues allowed the visitors far too much space and were lucky not to be punished on a few occasions.
It was also the young defender who conceded the penalty, which should have sealed the points for the Gills, but amazingly Cheye Alexander put his spot-kick wide of the post with one of the worst penalties seen at the County Ground.
The positives of the evening came from both wingbacks, as Remeao Hutton and Tyrese Shade enjoyed themselves and should never have been on the losing side.
Since his arrival, Remeao Hutton has been one of the most consistent performers on the team. He needs to work on aspects of his defending, but his ability to pick out a man in the box is brilliant to see each week.
I was amazed the club didn’t have any reported offers during the summer for the former Barrow man, as it’s clear with coaching the wing-back could play at a much higher level. Hopefully, it’s with Town next season.
On the other side is a different story, as Tyrese Shade has been anything but consistent during his time at Town.
Many fans have written off the former Leicester City man and aren’t convinced he has something to offer Michael Flynn’s side, but as we witnessed on Tuesday evening, he does have the ability.
He has the pace and trickery to be a solid player at this level, but he still lacks that consistent final ball into the box, something Hutton has nailed down.
If he can learn to beat his man more often and find a teammate consistently, Town will have finally fixed their problem at left wing-back.
This Saturday Town travels to Stadium:MK to face 16th-place Milton Keynes.
The new manager, former Gateshead boss Mike Williamson earned his first win at the club this week with a 4-1 win over still managerless Bradford City.
Despite Franchise being placed low in the League Two table, we know it’s a false position for the squad they possess, and under new management, I can sadly see them rising the table.
With Dan Kemp being on loan from Fake FC, he will be missing this weekend, which is a huge blow with him being the club’s best player this season, but as Michael Flynn said in his post-match press conference, someone will need to step up, seize the opportunity and show Town aren’t a one-man team this season.
Thankfully, we can say goodbye to October after this weekend, let’s hope Town can end the month with a flourish and get back into the playoff places.