Development Squad beaten at Gillingham
United's Development side were beaten 2-0 at Gillingham this afternoon.
The Development Squad is a new idea this season to allow a crop of promising youngsters to play competitive matches, and today United's side were all 19 years old or younger.
Against an older and more experienced Gillingham side they matched their hosts in a well fought first half but fell behind in controversial circumstances when a ball was hammered at defender Matt Bevans from close range and a penalty awarded for handball. United came back and Josh Shama, playing just behind Ty Marsh in attack, twice went close but a second goal from Gillingham on 65 minutes gave the home side the win. There were plenty of encouraging performances from the U's as Coach Andy Melville told us:
"We know it will be hard playing against sides where players have played a fair amount of first team football, but that is what these games are for, to allow our players to compete and learn. The result was a bit harsh but the penalty changed the game and was a particularly harsh decision. Matt had no way of getting out of the way and in a very close game it is big decisions like that which make the difference.
"It was a good performance over the 90 minutes and we are pleased to see the lads getting work outs like this. It is very much a learning game at the moment and every match we play helps the lads. Their attitude has been first class. "