Gillingham Ladies manager James Marrs tempered his disappointment with a less than satisfactory opening 45 minutes from his team, to step back and appreciate how far his side has come after a 1-1 draw against West Ham on Sunday afternoon.
Straight after the match Marrs said: “I’m disappointed, I’m not going to lie. I felt we deserved to win the game. When you are 1-0 up and you concede, it’s disappointing – especially the manner in which we conceded. It’s a poor goal to concede to be frank but it’s been one of those games.”
The Gills manager was forced to re-shuffle his starting line up in the opening five minutes of the match, after an injury to Rachel Ahern caused the centre back to be substituted by Lauren Davis. ” It did unsettle us a bit,” reflected Marrs ” it took us out of our stride and because Rachel is a very, very good player we could have done with her as part of our three at the back.”
“But then we had to change things in midfield and adjust our shape. Rachel is going to go to the hospital and fingers crossed she will be ok and she’s just taken a bit of a knock. ”
Marrs admitted he was less than impressed with his sides performance in the opening half: “We’ve worked on stuff at training on Thursday because we know teams are going to set up camp and put all their players behind the ball; the girls simply decided not to do what we discussed in the first half. ”
“We were trying to force passing, giving each other poor balls to try and control. It was a complete reverse of what we’ve been working on. I wouldn’t call it an off day but we were just doing things we shouldn’t be doing in the first half so some choice words were said at half time.”
And choice words they were indeed as the girls reacted splendidly to take the lead 45 seconds after the whistle was blown. Marrs said: “In the second half we came out and we actually looked like we were interested in playing. But it shouldn’t take that, it shouldn’t take those words to be said to get a reaction. We were supposed to have turned a corner and I was hugely disappointed in our first half display to be honest.”
Reflecting on another solid point for the Gills in their unbeaten league campaign, Marrs told us: “You can’t play fantastically well every week like we have been doing recently; you will have a dip but the pleasing thing for me is we’ve not been beaten. That’s a positive we need to take away from today.”
“We don’t want to have to watch that first half again,” Marrs concluded “For me we’ve come come so far – the fact we’re still disappointed after having 50% possession in the first half and 65% overall shows how far we’ve come. Sometimes you have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and how much are you expecting.”
Marrs and his team now look ahead to the trip to Chesham United Ladies in the League Cup this Sunday. For all news and match previews in the build up to the weekend’s game follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.