Our massive game against rivals Gillingham turned into a disaster as we threw the match away within the opening 30 minutes.

We were already one behind thanks to a header by Dominic Samuel from a free kick when a mix-up between defender Mark Beevers and goalkeeper Jordan Archer put the game, on Saturday, December 19, beyond us.

They left it to each other to deal with a slightly dangerous situation meaning Archer had to make a last minute effort to get the ball and, in so doing, brought down Cody McDonald, receiving a red card from referee Darren Handley as a result.

It’s bad enough being 2-0 down against a team chasing automatic promotion, but to also be reduced to 10 men meant the game was effectively lost.

Nevertheless we took the game to Gillingham, created chances, got the home supporters behind our team and caused some concern amongst our opponents in the second half.

We did all that apart from get the goal we needed to get us back into the game.

We were definitely the best team in the second half despite having only 10 men but conceded a third goal from a long goal-kick up field.

Ultimately we got nothing out of the game despite all our efforts. I can’t fault us once we went down to 10 men but up to that-point we were poor defensively.

That’s been a pretty common theme this season and it needs sorting out otherwise we will struggle to finish in the play-offs.

It’s not impossible to be successful with a weak back-line, but it will put more pressure on our strikers to score even more goals to get the results needed.

For now we need to put this result down to a bad day caused by individual and collective mistakes and move onto the next match as we enter the busy Christmas and New Year period.

Millwall have got two difficult matches, starting with Walsall's visit to The Den on Boxing Day .

The midlands team currently sit second in the division and will prove a test for us to find out whether the Gillingham match was just a blip.

We then make the short to Southend on Monday, December 28, to take on the Essex side shortly after beating them in the Johnstone’s Paint area semi-final.

We need to get at least four points from these two matches if we are to get our promotion hopes back on track.

Ian Toal is a committee member at Millwall Supporters Club