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Manger John Yems & midfielder Will Ferry react to the Reds penalty shoot-out defeat to League One side Gillingham.

10 August 2021

Crawley Town manager John Yems full of praise for his side and the fans after Tuesday night’s defeat at home to Gillingham. 

Yems was positive about the manner in which his team played and praised the penalty takers in his post-match interview: “I think they’re all on goal bonus” he joked, “yeah, the lads stepped up and poor Ludy {Ludwig Francillette] at the end, he could hardly walk, and yet he still stood up and took a penalty but still, good performances from everybody”.

Crawley registered over double the opposition’s number of shots and doubled their shots on target, but Yems was not surprised by this: “I thought we were the better side, simple, but all the same they [Gillingham] deserve credit, they stuck at it, but I think we tried to play a lot of football, tried to do what we can do. We’ve got a lot of injuries, but credit to the boys who came in, Sam Ashford enjoying his first goal and we can only take the positives, but we don’t mind getting beat because you learn more and you see the crowd back you.

Yems also saw tonight as a learning curve for his team saying: “Sometimes you learn more about yourself when you lose and as far as I’m concerned, we won the game. You saw the first goal, from where we were it didn’t look like a goal, but we came back from 1-0 down and 2-1 down with a couple of minutes to go and we showed spirit to come back and draw”.

Finally, Yems praised the fans for the fantastic atmosphere they created on the night: “The fans were enjoying it, the same as we were. If they enjoy it, we do. I’ve known the fans here for a long time and they’re good, when we're down they never give up and the team represents that”.

Will Ferry echoed his manager’s thoughts and praised his teammates after their Carabao Cup defeat at home to Gillingham on Tuesday night.

Ferry, 19, made his home debut against the Gills but was quick to praise the rest of the squad in his post-match interview: “It [making his home debut] was a massive positive from a personal side but disappointing considering the result. We did ourselves no harm in showing that we can match a team in the league above and I personally feel we dominated the game and were unlucky not to get something from it; we did ourselves proud.”

Crawley had to come back from a goal down twice on the night and Ferry sees the positives in this: “I think we showed our character and I think that just shows how together we are. We’ve shown a bit of endeavour, decided it isn’t over, believed in ourselves and we were right to! We produced and it was a mad game to be involved in.

The madness started in the third minute when Gillingham forward Gerald Sithole poked home after potentially fouling Blondy Nna Noukeu and things got crazier from there. The Reds pulled one back almost an hour later, a goal Ferry assisted, and he says he felt it was coming: “We had a few chances before it and it was one of those where we could feel it coming and that moment was when it came; I thought I could maybe shoot but obviously the best option was to square it and it was a good finish. It was coming for a long time and all it took was that final pass or even that pass to me from Tyler [Frost] to get me in and that bit of quality got us in. 

Gillingham then scored what seemed to be the winner in the 94th minute but the Reds didn’t let their heads drop and Archie Davies slotted the ball under Aaron Chapman to take the game to penalties with the last kick of the game. “It was mad,” Ferry said of Davies’ goal, “the fans were loud all game which pumps you up anyway and I like to think I’m a passionate player so I did celebrate as if I’d scored! At the end it was just crazy scenes, I think we did really well and probably could’ve had two or three more goals on another day but we did ourselves proud.”

With ten players from each team up to take a spot-kick, there was no surprise that one of those fell on Ferry’s shoulders: “I wasn’t too confident walking up to it to be honest but their ‘keeper didn’t get near any of them I don’t think. We practised yesterday in training and it paid off really, it’s not often you score nine penalties and don’t win. We were unlucky and obviously, we wanted to take more and get through but that’s not what happened on the day, so we look ahead to our next game.

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