Before I review October 2016, I would like to advise those of a nervous disposition to look away now…
The Gills found themselves in a respectable 8th spot at the start of the month. However, with no wins from the next 7 matches, they managed to drop 10 places and there were genuine fears creeping in about a potential downward spiral.
It’s a results business, and Justin Edinburgh hadn’t been getting those for some time. Furthermore, the nature of some of these performances, particularly at home to a struggling Oldham side (rock bottom at the start of play) and a lacklustre defeat at AFC Wimbledon led to serious doubts being raised.
Good news; Gillingham were scoring goals. The bad news was the other team were generally scoring more; more worrying was the number of soft and/or late goals leaving a lot of questions about a weak defence. At the other end, Cody McDonald notched a couple of goals to boost his confidence however fellow striker Rory Donnelly came under criticism for a lack of discipline in the aforementioned defeat at Kingsmeadow.
Just 2 points from 18 in October drastically changed The Gills from potential top 6 material to looking over their shoulders at those below them. There was a draw at home to Walsall and at packed Priestfield against Charlton Athletic, but these did not do much to distract away from a tricky month. There was also a defeat at Millwall in the Checkatrade Trophy, resulting in their elimintation from the competition. It’s also worth noting that out of 12 goals conceded in the month of October, half of them were scored in the last ten minutes of matches.
AFC Wimbledon 2-0 GILLINGHAM
GILLINGHAM 1-2 Oldham Athletic (McDonald)
Bristol Rovers 2-1 GILLINGHAM (Wright)
GILLINGHAM 1-1 Walsall (McDonald)
GILLINGHAM 1-1 Charlton Athletic (Dack)
Fleetwood Town 2-1 GILLINGHAM (Hessenthaler)
Millwall 2-1 GILLINGHAM (Wright)