This past weekend has been a complete write-off. I turned 30 on Sunday, which should, under any normal circumstances, have been cause for celebration, the consumption of excessive quantities of alcohol and, after sobering up sufficiently, the chance to see the family. But not for me. It’s become a running joke that I’m always ill on my birthday. Every sodding year it happens, and this year was no exception.
I was off work ill from Friday and have only gone back in today (Wednesday) after a largely boring weekend spent in bed, or stuck on the sofa slurping chicken soup and watching whatever crap was on telly at the time. Nice.
But, other than doing naff all during the weekend, and being off work on Friday, Monday and yesterday, I also missed the Gills match at the Orient last night, which at the time also pissed me off. Orient are, by all accounts, crap – and working in London, it would have been a “gimme” – an easy away trip with little or no effort required to attend. I’d even have been home by 11pm. But this dreaded lurgey I’ve got meant I had to “enjoy” listening to proceedings on Radio Kent rather than actually being there and watching the match live.
You can imagine my frustration at not being there when the Gills roared into a frankly unbelievable 3-0 lead and looked (according to the commentary) capable of adding to that scoreline at will. Even when we conceded a penalty (scored by their left back Matt Lockwood) with 15 minutes to go, there was no need to panic. Orient were, according to the commentary, the worst side they’d seen all season. So when the same player scored a second with five minutes to go, I got a bit twitchy. But nowhere near as twitchy as our players, so it seems, who according to the reports I’ve heard from fans who were there, collectively shat themselves in the face of some pressure from League One’s most inept side (or on reflection, perhaps the second most inept side?). The third goal, again from Lockwood (their left back, don’t forget), who completed his hat-trick, was inevitable, and rounded off a miserable evening, and a crap weekend.
On top of that, today I get the news that we’ve signed a striker. Good news eh? We needed one of those. Well, actually we needed a goalscorer, and what we’ve got is the scorer of “A” goal. Lost? Well, we’ve signed a lummox by the name of Bas Savage, who’s played 51 times in his career so far, and has scored the princely sum of one goal. As if conceding a 15-minute hat-trick by a left back to throw away a 3-0 lead isn’t enough to make us a laughing stock, it seems at a time when we need QUALITY both up front and at the back, we’ve signed a guy who was voted Bury’s all-time worst player, and has a scoring rate of 0.02 goals per game. As is the oft-used phrase on Gills message boards, “you couldn’t make it up”.
Last night was a strange evening. In a state of cabin fever after spending five days cooped up indoors, I decided to make my own entertainment by placing a few little fun bets on the evening’s football before settling down to watch the scores come in. Remembering a chat I had with the landlord of my local pub near work I thought I’d have a little go at League One (where goals have been going in all over the place lately) and placed a set of 5p doubles on each of the League One games finishing in a 3-3 draw – a 50/1 shot for each match.
A late goal from Bradford meant their match at Doncaster was set to finish 3-3, but I needed another game to finish 3-3. With five minutes to go and no other League One game even close to a 3-3 scoreline it looked like my £2.70 had gone down the drain. What I needed was a freak result, a glut of late goals, all in the same game. What I needed was a miracle.
Enter my beloved Gills. We were comfortable at 3-1 at the time, and then it happened, two goals in the last five minutes sent us crashing to a draw which felt to me more like a defeat, but in a strange paradox, also provided me with that crucial second 3-3 draw for my bets. I did my maths, then checked my Skybet account 15 minutes later…
I’d been ill all weekend, missed my 30th birthday, barely seen anyone, left my house only to get some fresh air and post an overdue gas bill and missed the Gills match, which we threw away in five minutes of madness at the end. But my throwaway £2.70 stake had been turned into £130.50! Compensation for a shit weekend.
And with that I went to bed…
The older, ever-so-slightly-richer, but still ill and still grumpy Semyon_Dukach