Some notes on Spurs loanee Connor Ogilvie’s performance against Accrington Stanley:
Spurs loanee Connor Ogilvie (22) made his 20th competitive appearance of the season for his parent club Gillingham on Tuesday night, in their 0-0 draw against Accrington Stanley in League one. I made the trip down to the ‘ Gills ‘ Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday to watch our talented loanee in action. The Waltham Abbey born full back completed the full 90 minutes of Gillingham’s match where he operated at left back in a 4-3-3 formation. Connor put in a fantastic shift for Steve Lovell’s side against Accrington Stanley to help his team record a clean sheet. It was a performance where he should have been named man of the match such was the well rounded nature of his performance. Although he stayed deep and rarely opted to go forward down the left flank, Ogilvie was both aggressive and commanding at left back. He was also brilliant in the air, good on the ball and strong in the challenge. The 22 year old who turns 23 next month, anticipated danger well and all in all I thought that he defended really well against Accrington’s tricky winger Jordan Clark on the night. After a fairly eventful start to the game, Ogilvie’s first real piece of defending came after he managed to block a cross from Callum Johnson down the flank. While the former England under 17 international did go on a couple of overlapping runs down the left flank during the opening stages of the match he always remained defensively disciplined, and he would often come inside to provide cover for the central defenders. Ogilvie did well once again to block another cross behind from Johnson, this time from down the left side of the Gillingham penalty area. His first real attacking contribution to the game occurred a couple of minutes later after he received Mark Byrne’s pass down the left wing, before delivering a dangerous ball into the penalty area which took a slight deflection off of Johnson before causing some panic amongst the Accrington defence. Shortly before the interval Ogilvie made an important clearance inside the Gillingham box from Ross Sykes‘ cross to cap off a solid first half from the Spurs loanee.
Ogilvie was a lot more involved in the game during the second half as Accrington started to attack more down the channels. The left back did exceptionally well to get across Accrington’s Sean McConville inside the Gillingham penalty to clear Ben Richards-Everton’s dangerous, pacy cross. That was arguably one of the most important pieces of defending from any Gillingham player in the whole game, as McConville would have been able to just guide the ball home had it not been for the alert Connor Ogilvie. About five minutes later Ogilvie managed to clear another cross from Ben Richards-Everton but the ‘ Gills ‘ continued to see more of the ball. And Connor came close to giving the home side the lead after he managed to connect with a corner from Darren Oldaker at the back post of Jonny Maxted’s goal. However, the youngsters header ended up going narrowly over Maxted’s crossbar. The vocal and commanding Ogilvie then managed to be a hero at the other end of the pitch, after Richards-Everton’s cross was met by Billy Kee whose looping header was headed clear by Ogilvie on the line. Steve Lovell’s side were beginning to put the Accrington defence under increasing pressure and after Ogilvie had a whipped cross cleared by one time Spurs schoolboy Janoi Donacien, Gillingham hit the bar from Darren Oldaker’s free kick. Ogilvie then went on a purposeful galavanting run down the left wing a couple of minutes later before being dispossessed on the edge of the Accrington penalty area by Callum Johnson. The Spurs loanees next involvement in the game came after Tomas Holy’s goal kick was headed on to him by Elliot List down the left flank. Ogilvie continued forward before whipping a low cross into the danger zone, which courtesy of a deflection off of Johnson came to Josh Rees at the back post, but he was unable to turn the ball home and in the end Maxted was able to smother the ball. The ‘ Gills ‘ did have one late scare after Sean McConville pumped the ball into the Gillingham penalty area. Substitute Paul Smyth managed to get in front of Ogilvie at the back post but the Spurs man recovered well and he was able to block the QPR loanees effort behind for a corner kick despite getting hurt in the process. That was to be the last piece of action from what had been a surprisingly entertaining 0-0 draw.
It was a very mature performance from Connor Ogivlie on Tuesday night in so many respects. He defended solidly and he protected his side of the pitch well while also coming inside to help out Gillingham’s central defenders Gabriel Zakuani and Max Ehmer. I was focusing solely on Ogilvie throughout the match and as far as I am concerned he was the ‘ Gills ‘ best player on the night. Calm under pressure, disciplined and alert, Ogilvie was rarely caught out of position and it was his aggressiveness, aerial superiority and man marking which impressed me the most on the night. He made a couple of really important defensive interventions but none more so than the one which saw him get across Sean McConville inside the penalty area to get to Ben Richards-Everton’s dangerous cross. The former England under 17 international who once played in the same side as Dele Alli, was also good going forward and he delivered some promising crosses into the danger zone. This was a very good performance from the talented and ever improving fullback who has managed to reestablish himself as a regular in the Gillingham team. After putting in a really good shift for Gillingham on Tuesday night, Ogilvie will be hoping that he’ll start the Kent clubs next league game which is away to Coventry City on Saturday. I wish Connor all the very best of luck for the remainder of his loan at the League one club.