Saturday 30 December – Gills 0 – 3 Oldham
What a thoroughly miserable way to end 2006. I don’t know about you, but there is something about sitting in howling wind and pissing rain watching your team put together a God awful performance that really doesn’t do it for me.
So, let’s begin by looking at the positives…………. erm……….. well……….. there was………. no. No there weren’t any. We were a shower of shite from start to finish.
Some may point out that the game was turned by Ian Cox’s sending off, but that really would be clutching at straws. By this time we had already been thoroughly outplayed by a well organised and workmanlike Oldham.
We trailed to a goal that was a personal disaster for on loan keeper Dean Brill, who committed the cardinal error of coming then stopping, leaving himself stranded in no man’s land and sending an open invitation for Chris Porter to lob into the unguarded net (which he did – selfish pig that he is) .
Ian Cox, oh Ian Cox. What more can you say? A player of immense ability in his day, but he is undone by the failure of his legs to keep up with his brain so many times that it’s just plain embarrassing (a bit like watching your dad cutting a dash on the dance floor – eeek!) Some may argue that the penalty was harsh – which it was, in the sense that pulling an opponent to the ground within the confines of the penalty area does not justify the award of a penalty kick. Some may further argue that a red card for the offence was also harsh. Which it also was in the sense of committing a foul in the penalty area when the last defender does not justify a sending off.
Clearly, from the moment we went 2-0 down and were reduced to 10 men there was going to be no way back. But to be truthful, we were utterly outplayed by the visitors, who in the shape of old stagers Sean Gregan (who, as the Rainham End kindly pointed out, is still a wanker) and Andy Liddell, demonstrated how to control the football in difficult conditions.
A 3-0 victory, courtesy of a deflected second half goal, in no way flattered Oldham. That the Gills mustered their first meaningful effort on goal in the 87th minute, when Les Pogliacomi (26 points in Scrabble) saved a Matty Jarvis attempt, tells you all you need to know
It has been commented many times that this is a poor division – which is correct. But it has less often been pointed out that we are a poor side in a poor division. The current Oldham team represent the sort of unit we need to aspire to be if we are to harbour serious pretensions of promotion any time soon (and the fact that Oldham are the benchmark for a promotion chasing team probably says all you need to know about League One)
Champagne Moment – In the midst of the monsoon conditions, a bizarre localised squall caused a mini waterfall down the front of the TV gantry, and provided more interest than the Gills managed throughout 90 minutes