It’s been a good start to the season for the Gills, having only lost once prior to the game against Sheffield United on Sunday. However the Gills opponents Sheffield United have had a slow start to the season, picking up their only win of the season last week. With home advantage and form on their side Gillingham were the outright favourites to win this fixture.
Gillingham’s star man and Sky Bet League one player of the year, Bradley Dack was back in the Gills starting 11 after the Kent side managed to keep hold of the promising talent despite offers from clubs in higher divisions offering large sums of money for the 23 year-old.
Meanwhile United started with Billy Sharp and Matt Done up front, seeing summer signing Leon Clarke start on the bench.
Gillingham started the first half promisingly, seeing most of the ball and creating a few chances.
Cody McDonald was sent through on goal five minutes into the match but failed to make it count as Simon Moore rushed out to pressurise Cody and made himself big in order to make the save, had McDonald took his chance I think we may have seen a very convincing Gillingham win but it wasn’t to be.
Gillingham eventually broke the deadlock through a sublime Bradley Dack free kick and went into half time 1-0 despite what can only be described as a lacklustre half from both sides after McDonald’s one on one.
At half-time, Gills manager Justin Edinburgh switched formations from the 4-4-2 diamond to the 5-3-2 sacrificing summer signing Billy Knott for young loanee Joshua Pask.
The switch of formation cost Gillingham the game in my personal opinion, the five at the back just invited an incredible amount of pressure and with Gillingham’s two main outlets Bradley Dack and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas later substituted it left Gillingham with few options up top.
Sheffield United’s equaliser was coming and was to be expected with the pressure on the Gillingham backline, but the goal could’ve easily been avoided had full-back Ryan Jackson cleared the ball rather than dribbling himself into trouble.
The equaliser then saw a revitalised Sheffield United and they threw the kitchen sink at Gills and their pressure was all too much when the ball was crossed in and half time substitute Joshua Pask made a very clear handball inside the area which dearly cost Gillingham as Sheffield United’s main man Billy Sharp tucked the ball away despite Jonathan Bond diving the right way.
In summary, Gillingham manager Justin Edinburgh cost his side with the switch of formation at half time.
But The Gills lackluster and sloppy performance was also at fault. With only one win at home this season, Gillingham really need to up the tempo during their home games should they want to make Priestfield a fortress this season.
But for me Sheffield United deserved the win because of how Gillingham played and United’s second half won them the game. Gillingham play Bradford City at home next week which is a perfect chance for Gillingham to bounce back and continue with their promotion challenge.