Monday, October 14, 2013
Gillingham Town 6-0 Ilfracombe Town
Ilfracombe suffered their heaviest defeat of the season away at Gillingham Town on Saturday afternoon. In truth there wasn’t a huge amount of difference between the teams for the first 60 minutes but a couple of individual errors cost Combe and Gillingham took full advantage to power past them 6-0.
Gillingham’s is not one of Ilfracombe’s favourite grounds, having suffered the same result last season.
The first half was rather even; Gillingham were undoubtedly the more comfortable in possession but Combe always looked a threat especially from set pieces. Stan Paxton, Craig Allan and Liam Craze all had chances for the visitors.
The Bluebirds were starting to think they could get to half time all square when Gillingham found the break through.
For all their good play it came in fortuitous circumstances. Craig Allan had done well to track back and make a challenge but his tackle flicked the ball into the path of an onrushing attacker who finished well.
Combe started the second half well, passing the ball with purpose and pressing higher up the pitch. Craze found space inside the box but couldn’t get his volley on target and Stan Paxton couldn’t find the net after jinking through a challenge on the edge of the box.
But just as Ilfracombe were settling, Gillingham struck again. Combe gave away a free kick on the edge of the box which was dispatched and things got worse five minutes later when Kurtis Parkin dropped a routine save to gift Gillingham a third.
From then on it was one-way traffic. Manager Ross Middleton chucked on Frank Paxton and Jordon Jones to try and create some chances for the trailing side but Gillingham had the bit between their teeth.
The last three goals were all sloppy from Combe’s perspective, as Gillingham players danced through challenges like they didn’t exist and had all the time in the world to finish past Parkin. The final strike was smashed past Parkin with the kind of confidence Combe can only dream of at the moment.
“We looked scared stiff at times,” said Middleton. “You simply can’t afford to show teams that much respect and expect to win.
“We need to start getting in amongst teams again and start fighting for every challenge, we’ve always been a club that’s extremely hard to play against and we’re a bit too nice at the minute. Technically some of the lads are brilliant but it means nothing without hard work.
“We’ve shown we can compete and we need to start showing that again starting Wednesday.”
Ilfracombe now sit second-bottom of the Premier division, and Winterbourne United below them have three games in hand.
Combe face a tough trip to Buckland Athletic on Wednesday, before travelling to high flyers Street on Saturday.