Travel sickness leaves Jon Green around the Gills
There’s been a lot of goings on at Priestfield since my last blog a few weeks back.
First of all we managed to overcome the physical presence of Burton Albion in the FA Cup. The next day it was the third-round draw and with four balls remaining both Gillingham and Manchester Utd were still left in the hat. Excitement of a possible trip to Old Trafford then turned into despair as the next tie was drawn – Accrington Stanley v Gillingham!
Oh well, the big boys will just have to wait until the fourth round for us! To be honest even with our dreadful away record it’s a tie we really should get through.
Nobody would have expected the shambles that happened the following Tuesday evening at Leyton Orient. When you haven’t won a single away game all season the preparation should be vital for a match at one of your relegation rivals. Unfortunately there was no preparation at all as half the squad were stuck in grid-locked traffic whilst being allowed to make their own way to the match!
This was all a result of a very considerate chap who threatened to jump off a roof of a building near to the A12 (there’s no truth in the rumour he was a Gills fan who just couldn’t cope with anymore depressing away trips!).
With just an hour to go until kick off Mark Stimson was forced to name his team (thanks to referee Mr D’Urso!) despite only having a grand total of nine players at the ground! This included two goalkeepers, one of which, Simon Royce, arrived on a mountain bike! Our two centre-backs completed their journey with a trip on the Underground and to make matters worse we even had to wear Orient’s away kit!
Therefore no-one was surprised that the game ended in yet another away defeat and to complete our misery, Febian Brandy sustained an injury as a result of not having a ‘proper’ warm-up!
The whole episode could have been avoided if the squad had met up together earlier in the day but in hindsight it’s easy to say this after the event. Hopefully we’ll learn from this experience and it never happens again.
A goalless draw at home against Carlisle followed, a game that saw very little goal threat from both sides but at least we managed to keep another clean sheet at home.
A daunting away trip to in-form Huddersfield was next up for Gills and our task wasn’t helped as we were missing key players with Josh Gowling and Curtis Weston joining Brandy on the sidelines. We also learnt that Royce had been involved in a car accident prior to the game but fortunately his injuries were not too severe.
I would like to wish Roycey a speedy recovery and hope to see him back between the sticks in the not too distant future. In fact, just in time to push his way into Mr Cappello’s World Cup squad!
After taking a third-minute lead at Huddersfield (thanks to Simeon Jackson’s first away goal of the season) you could have excused us of dreaming of actually winning away from home. Then reality took over and two goals at the end of the first half sealed our fate as another defeat loomed.
According to reports, transfer-listed goalkeeper Alan Julian kept the score down to just the two with some important saves so hopefully he can gain some confidence from this game and grab this opportunity with both hands (excuse the pun!).
With two home games in a row coming up for The Gills it’s vital we continue our good home form at fortress Priestfield although we’ve been relying far
too much on it all season. The club is running the ‘Friends For A Fiver’ and ‘Kids For A Quid’ scheme for Saturday’s game against bottom club Stockport, so there may well be one or two new supporters to cheer them on come 3pm.
Up The Gills!