Saturday 17th December – AFC Bournemouth 2-1 Gills
The good news was that in the first away game since the Colchester debacle the Gills were unrecognisable from the rabble at Layer Road, the bad news was that the result was still the same, we lost, albeit by one rather than five goals but no points again on the road was getting boring.
The Gills really should have won this game, for more than an hour the Gills were totally on top, the 650 plus travelling fans were in boisterous mood despite the farce of having to buy ticket from the home box office right round the other side of the rebuilt Fitness First Stadium and the less than friendly stewarding.
Prematch and the mood in the pub was lightened by meeting the ex-nanny of the Schumacher racing driving brotherhood who was pleased as punch with the World Cup draw the night before because she’d been promised tickets in a private box for the games in Cologne including England vs. Sweden.
The Gills should have taken an early lead on five minutes via Fobi-Edusei’s inspired through ball to Jarvis, but unforgivably having raced clear with just the keeper to beat and the goal at his mercy he slashed the ball wildly over the bar. We all winced at yet another fantastic chance being tossed away, given our (non-) scoring record away from Priestfield we all quietly thought we’d come to regret it and we did.
The Gills carried on their slapdash way with the finishing for most of the half, it was a times criminal, the fans deserve better, and the game should have been over before the break. Stewart was continually occupied in the Cherries’ goal but most of the efforts went wide or over.
The second half saw Shields on for Fobi-Edusei but he was soon missing a simple header too. The travelling fans continued to roar the team forward, a goal just had to come; we could all sense it, and Halle-fucking-lujah it finally arrived on 62 minutes. It was very well worked with Jarvis doing brilliantly to escape down the right wing and intelligently pull the ball back across goal into the path of Harris who confidently smacked the ball home. Hurrah! Our first goal away from home in the League since November the 1st at Hartlepool (when we’d been 3-0 down in the last minute). It was the first time we’d taken the lead away in the League since August 29th at Brentford and only the third time all season!
We were still celebrating wildly when four minutes later Bournemouth stunned us with a totally undeserved equaliser out of the blue. It was the young Wallis that made the schoolboy error at a crucial moment in the box. His indecision and failure to simply clear the ball (i.e. his job) allowed the increasingly lively Hayter to latch onto the lose ball in the box and drill the ball into the far corner. The previously comatose home fans stirred briefly into life, but on the pitch the Gills suddenly lost their confidence, allowing the moribund Bournemouth team to get up a head of steam.
For the last twenty minutes we wobbled badly, the Cherries started making chances (Fletcher missing a sitter and Brown saving a Browning header) and rather than securing victory we were left clinging on for a point. Deep into injury time you can guess what happened next – more shoddy defending at the back suddenly saw Brown out of position and Hayter wide by the touchline with the ball, he crossed for the unmarked Surman to stoop and head the winner. It was harsh, very harsh, but the Gillingham players only had themselves to blame… again.
Champagne Moment: Wolfie overslept and made a mad dash by train from Canterbury having to pay the full fare of £45. He got to the ground at half-time but the jobsworth tossers on the gate wouldn’t let him in so he was forced to watch through the fence by the corner flag… On the way back to the station at the end a few spirits were raised by a chorus of “£45 you’re having a laugh”.