Saturday 16th Sept – Gills 3-1 Swansea
Three games ago discontent was rife, the fans were on Scally’s back and everything in the garden appeared shitty. Football, however, being the perverse entity that it is, has an uncanny ability of turning everything on its head.
The Swans arrived in 4th place, backed by their cocksure support and containing such Priestfield favourites as Leon “Oops I’ve fallen over again” Knight and Tom “Oh my face” Williams. They also included alleged recent Gills transfer target Adebayo Akinfenwa – for whom we reputedly bid £75,000 (or didn’t depending on which dodgy chairman you choose to believe).The Gills lined up without the injured Brent Sancho, meaning we continued with the not exactly comforting central defensive partnership of Leon Johnson and Ian Cox.
The visitors made most of the early running, but it was the Gills who took the lead with a well worked corner routine (no, that is not a typing error, you really did just read that). Clint Easton played a short ball to Danny Jackman, lurking just outside the near corner of the 18 yard box, and his first time cross was swept into the bottom corner by the not-particularly-tightly-marked Ian Cox.
Not particularly tight marking was a recurring theme for the Swans defence, and on the half hour they afforded Matt Jarvis time and space in which to run, which proved possibly to not be a good thing as Matty sped into the box and unleashed a thunderbolt into the top corner for 2-0.
A period of Swansea pressure before half time failed to break down the resolute Gills defence, although there was a moment of alarm when a free kick (farcically awarded by the fuckwit ref) from the left was just missed at the far post by the 9 foot 7 Dennis Lawrence.
The second period saw the expected Swansea onslaught fail to materialise, and it was the Gills who continued to create chances. Matt Jarvis missed two one-on-ones, lifting the ball over when clean through, then seeing another attempt saved from a tight angle when he should have squared to the unmarked Ndumbu-Nsungu in the middle.
Swansea made a triple substitution, which bought the much loved cheeky chappy Tom Williams into the fray. The Priestfield faithful enjoyed a few moments of witty repartee with the amiable Mr. Williams, during which the former Gills full back was informed that not only was he a low fellow of dubious sportsmanship, but that he practised self-abuse on a regular basis.
Leon Knight, meanwhile, showed that he had lost none of his predatory “throw yourself to the ground to try and con the ref” instincts with a couple of juicy simulations. Sadly for the dwarf-like Knight, the referee was having none of it (probably because he was enjoying the misfortune of someone who was actually shorter than him)
The Gills midfield were slugging it out in centre of the park, not allowing Swansea the time and space to play. In one challenge Mike Flynn’s hurried clearance smashed into the front of the Gordon Road Stand, hitting the F of GILLINGHAM FOOTBALL CLUB and shattering it into about a million pieces.
We just needed a third to round things off. As time ticked away Matt Jarvis escaped the attentions of the Swans defence for the umpteenth time, and sent a shot thudding off the far post, and then, with 11 minutes to go it finally arrived. Swansea struggled to clear their lines, and the ball dropped to Ian Cox, who was afforded enough time and space to pick his spot, tie his bootlaces, wipe the sweat from his brow, and slot a low shot into the bottom corner of the net. A collective “So who the fuck was supposed to be marking him then” look was passed between the Swansea defence as the triumphant Gills went through one of those pre-planned goal celebrations that players dream up when they should be training.
Annoyingly, we once again failed to score the last goal in the game. With five minutes left Knight’s shot was brilliantly saved by Flinders, but the ball looped up into the air and was despatched with an overhead kick by the diminutive cheat-cum-striker, who proved there is more to his game than being an diving little tit (but not much).
An excellent result and a good performance which propelled us to the heady heights of 12th place – something that is not to be sneezed at given that we were 23rd three games ago.
Champagne Moment: Childish I know, but Mike Flynn’s utter destruction of the F on the front of the Gordon Road Stand was well received by all, except perhaps the Gills Chairman, who probably winced at another added expense