Welcome dear reader to what is quite possibly the last edition of Brian Moore’s Head Looks Uncannily Like London Planetarium. Yes that is correct, after eighteen years and 105 issues we have made the decision to call it a day as a regular paper publication. The aim is to continue life on the internet, plans are already afoot for a website to continue the, ahem, good name of this esteemed organ. Elsewhere in this BMH you’ll be able to find out more about this momentous decision…
Back to the serious business of being a Gillingham fan and things continue to be anything but dull. On the pitch it all looked to be going horribly wrong in February and March. Byfield’s harsh but daft sending-off at Swindon and subsequent ban left the Gills looking completely toothless. It was bad enough losing the grudge match at Swindon in such a limp fashion, but it then got significantly worse with defeats by Doncaster and then Scunthorpe with arguably the weakest starting eleven to don a Gillingham shirt in the Scally era.
Relegation then suddenly appeared to be a distinct probability rather than a possibility in the aftermath of a wretched, disgusting, pathetic 6-0 drubbing at Bristol City. City weren’t really that good on the day but defensively we made error after error after error. We looked like a dejected rabble and a few tears were shed on the journey home as we contemplated midweek trips to Accrington Stanley. The nominal safety target of 53 points appeared miles away and a repeat of BMH’s debut season (88-89) where we got relegated at Blackpool looked like a real possibility.
Four games later and twelve points later and the mood of the whole place had been transformed. It has been no coincidence that our stunning transformation has coincided with the return of Byfield and Jarvis to the starting eleven, but the influence of Black and Pouton in midfield and steadier defending generally has seen the Gills win four on the trot for the first time since the spring of 2000! That three of the wins have been against genuine promotion candidates just goes to emphasise the mediocrity of the whole division and how badly we had underachieved earlier.
Assuming we go on to pick up the odd point or three from our final five games we will be playing League One football next season. It would be fantastic to retain the services of Byfield and Brown but that cannot be taken for granted. Nevertheless fans now have faith in Jepson as manager and that he will bring in the right players to get Gillingham through this traumatic period of transition and safely out the other end.
Off the pitch and Scally continues to cause waves in his distinctive style. News that the club had lost £1.8 million in 04-05 saw him try to deflect the inevitable flack by blaming us, yes, THE FANS for the losses! “Complacent”? The bare faced cheek of it all has certainly hit a raw nerve with fans that still don’t know how much they will be paying for their season tickets next season.
On a more positive note Scally is also said to be in serious talks with the local council, a “major” landowner and a third party regarding his ambitions for relocating within Medway. As ever we remain in the dark (most of us would prefer to stay at the more than adequate Priestfield) but will be watching this one with interest. Scally might see it as the only way of clearing the debts HE created but let it be said as often as is necessary that moving to Gravesend would NOT BE ACCEPTABLE.
So after 18 years has anything changed? Well we have been lucky enough to cover the greatest decade in the club’s history (1995-05) and the most traumatic seasons ever (1992-95); it has been one hell of a ride. We’ll just have to see what the next eighteen years bring… one thing for sure though; it isn’t going to be dull. See you all in cyberspace, oh and UP THE GILLS!