Saturday 11th February – Gills 1-1 Tranmere
A pretty dull winter’s day was not exactly enlivened by this somnambulant clash. The first half was unmemorable in the extreme, and things got worse right at the start of the second when O’Leary crashed home from close range…it looked like dozy and hesitant defending between Hope and Johnson from where I was sitting but seeing it again on TV the visiting scorer deserves some credit for retaining the ball so long in the six yard box.
Only when the lunatic referee – Grant Hegley – lost the plot and started booking all and sundry did the crowd perk up. He clocked up ten bookings, many totally unnecessary, and it was following a happy-slappy squabble (a direct result of inept officialdom) following a foul near the corner flag that we hauled our way back into contention. Tranmere, in particular their highly strung (stroppy) French keeper, switched off for the only time all afternoon and Byfield was left unmarked at the far post to whip home Tommy Black’s cross: cue brief pandemonium, Tom Hark and an afternoon left to drift off to a deadlocked conclusion.
Champagne Moment: It has to be the goal, another predatory finish by Byfield to demonstrate what we miss when he is injured or suspended….