Handle without care

Tuesday 22 January – Gills 0-0 Oldham Athletic

Over the years we’ve all enjoyed some beautiful evenings at Priestfield, but this one was nothing more than a grim puddle of arse gravy. An utterly dull fixture being played in front of a sparse and disengaged crowd was enlivened only by a pleb with a whistle, and in waking us up he destroyed any chance we had of winning a game from which we could ill-afford not to claim three points after the disappointment of the Northampton defeat.

Firstly, the worthy 4402. Our lowest league crowd for over ten years. And our lowest ever in an all-seater Priestfield, the plastic seats emphasising the vacuum far more vividly than the terraces used to. I think it would take very little to get attendances back up to the 7-8000 level on a regular basis if we started climbing the table through fair means or foul. But at present the results are insufficient to entice more than the hardy five thousand odd through the turnstiles. OK, patience is necessary to build momentum and remind the absentees we’re here, but why on earth was this game re-scheduled for a freezing mid-January night? The League are petrified of end-of-season fixture pile-ups and plead for the early completion of outstanding matches, but even if Oldham reach the quarter-finals of the cup with replays all the way, there would still be several free midweeks available, some of them during school holidays. But no, we and a tuk-tuk full of Oldham fans are dragged out in the deep mid winter, everyone of us wishing we were elsewhere.

The gathered few watched on sullenly through a lethargic opening half hour, only roused by Oldham hitting the post from distance. Suddenly Simon Royce rushed from his area to fling himself at the ball to defy an onrushing forward. As soon as the referee gave the freekick we knew Royce was off, and those who have seen replays seem to think it was pretty clear cut. The odd thing is that the referee looked at the linesman – who gave nothing – paused and despite there not being a single appeal from the opposition he got the red card out, and it was the manner of his doing it that shocked everyone.

Whether he got that right or not, he was a complete fucktard all night, hardly aided by flag-wielding imbeciles on the line. He seemed to put in one of those deliberately provocative displays in that whenever he gave a big decision against Gillingham (such as when Cumbers was brought down by the last man on the edge of the area in the second half), the next 50:50 would be given to Oldham simply to demonstrate that he was rising above the crowd’s abuse. He gave all the stupid fouls in the middle, but bottled all the braver decisions. At the weekend D’Urso demonstrated once again that he is just annoying – his games are always littered with petty offences and never have the chance to flow. This bloke Williamson is much more dangerous, just staggeringly inconsistent with seemingly no awareness that he is having a shocker.

Amidst the debris Stillie came on, Crofts was sacrificed (rightly it turned out as the game suited Thurgood perfectly, he seems to thrive when play needs breaking up and slowing down, and he deserved his man of the match award for his mighty fine bandage) and we dug in to get a point. I suspect we would have capitulated under Jepson. Oldham hit the bar from the resulting free-kick and hit the post again from a free header. They missed several more clearcut chances but lacked both the quality to attack with pace and the, ahem, killer instinct in front of goal. Hughes had a quiet evening, largely shepherded out of harm’s way by Bygrave who is acquiring confidence with each game and is beginning to look like a very accomplished defender. Let’s just hope the inconsistent run continues with a long overdue victory at The Bescott.

Champagne Moment:

Two I guess : Leroy Griffiths’ hilarious cameo – bounding all over the pitch with all the style of Michael Johnson on the back straight; and listening on the radio to Swindon miss every one of their penalties in a shoot-out at Barnet

The Morty Vickers

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10 Responses to Handle without care

  1. Bring Back Les Berry says:

    To be honest, when he failed to even give a free kick when Cumbers was fouled, I thought the referee had descended into outright cheating. Also, most of the ground would not have been able to tell, but when Olhdam’s number ten squared up to Bentley at the Town End touchline, he stuck his head in Bentley’s face. The referee was closer than us in row 6, and only gave a yellow.

    The only plus side was that Hughes’ ‘goal’ was only given off side becuase the linesman thought the ginger twat (who also should have walked for a terrible dive in the box in the second half) had flicked it on. In fact, he got no where near it (maybe because he was shit), and the goal should have stood.

    To be honest, a fricking terrible night, once again punctuated by evil, diabolical stewarding at the Town End. I hope the head steward realises that if we start filming them treating the kids the way they do once they are round the back of the stand, they will get into a lot of trouble.

  2. PettsWoodGill says:

    BBLB

    Excellent message re stewarding.

    As I left my G Road seat for a quick pee just before the end of the Northampton game I was shocked to see my son (who sits in the Town end with his mates) surrounded by stewards and a policeman behind the BMH stand. To cut a long story short he had been at fault giving it the “wanker” sign to the stewards as they yet again overreacted to the fans and hauled out anyone they could get their hands on. He went voluntarily and accepted he was wrong but a couple of stewards still roughed him up a bit when out of sight – completely unnecessary in the circumstances.

    He had his season taken off him and had to report to the chief steward on Tuesday.

    Now the good news (I hope). On reporting in, the new (since Bristol Rovers) head steward was very reasonable and listened to his side of the story. He seems to accept that some of the stewards are not up to it and says he intends to train them up properly or sack them if need be as they provoke some of the trouble. He accepted (as my son does) that some are good and some bad and does genuinely seem to want to head in the right direction. My son mentioned the “Scottish one” as particularly bad and yet others are capable of building a good relationship/banter with the fans.

    Let’s hope that this new approach materialises asap as I gather it kicked off again on Tuesday.

    Re the match – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. The ref did us a favour sending Royce off as it created a bit of atmosphere. A battling 0 – 0 instead of a mega boring 0 – 0. We have no creativity apart from Miller who had to play a bit deeper when we went down to 10. Pleased with the attitude and workrate and yes, we would have run out of steam under Jepson and lost. Didn’t miss Crofts at all – in fact we were better without him ! What’s gone wrong there? Agree that “chicken run” Griffiths was a laugh. Mulligan – fantastic effort – shame about the abiliy. Cumbers ineffective but I think he could be a good player eventually. At least we tried to play football and it was much better than Saturday (could hardly have been worse could it?).

  3. Jon says:

    To be honest about the stewarding in the Town End, it’s not great, but the people who sit there don’t help themselves. Had a season ticket up there for two seasons (04/05 and 05/06) because it was ridiculously cheap. Sat in the back row (not actually my choice, the club moved my seat there without asking me) and I absolutely hated being surrounded by the utter tossers that sat there.

    Sure your son isn’t in that group, by the way, but many of the imbeciles who sit up there deserve to be ejected for the constant abuse they give to the stewards… At the end of the day, we don’t like to have to sit down but those are the rules, and I always found the stewards ok about telling people to sit down, and it was only people who got arsey about that who wound up in trouble. Although giving them a kicking out the back isn’t on…

  4. Bring Back Les Berry says:

    PWG. I had a word with the head steward at half time on Tuesday and basically told him it had to stop. We’re the guys that sit to the far right of the goal beneath the police box, and as we are all over the age of 21 (!), have been pushing it a bit lately to see whether they come and speak to us – nothing major, just standing up most of the time and really hurling abuse at the main offenders (the big ginger one is a complete scum bag). And do you know what? They never, ever come over and speak to us.

    They throw their weight around with the kids behind the goal (12-18 is probably the average age) because they think they can get away with it. I pointed out to the head steward (Bob) that they are supposed to be there for our safety, not to provoke trouble. I also mentioned that some of them are out of order, and are coming very close to provoking a situation they will not be able to handle (many people in the Town End are close to lashing out the next time a kid gets removed, purely on the basis that they never really do anything wrong, and no-one should put their hands on a kid the way they do).

    Anyway, I told him we would be filming the worst culprits in games to come to gather evidence, and hey presto, all the ones I pointed out disappeared in the second half. I hope they never come back. This is the time the club needs support the most, and these c***s make it a horrible place to watch football and make people stop attending.

    Sorry for banging on, but you never know, some one from the club or the local constabulary might read this and do something about it.

  5. stroodite says:

    Champagne moment for me was Leroy getting one shoulder push back on the Oldham right back and literally shoving him into advert hoardings with a real clatter…couldn’t quite see the damage but i think the board was okay

  6. Binman says:

    Any article explaining what has been going on at the Town End re stewarding and by the sounds of it rough treatment meted out to all and sundry away from prying eyes & cameras behind the seats would be greatly appreciated. In the Rainham End we can’t really see what is going on except for the stewards being over active when there are few people in there and doing bugger all when the likes of Leeds come to town and play up… Very good idea now with camera phones to record any incidents. Police would have to arrest some of the stewards then!

  7. PettsWoodGill says:

    Jon. Fair comment. There are some tossers there who are asking for trouble. Ironically, my son said recently that he wanted to move to the R end next season anyway ‘cos of the stupid little “wannabees” trying to look hard. Unfortunately the fans seem to be dealt with indiscriminately (see BBLB’s comments). I think he’ll be paying a bit extra for each match to go to the R end from now on.

    BBLB. Thanks – good job. Looks like Bob is doing something about it. My son complained about how they picked on easy targets but didn’t deal with any real problems – eg Millwall and Leeds fans could do what they liked – ie they were inconsistent.

  8. a townend youth says:

    Donkey and Shrek your having a laugh!

  9. Bernard says:

    Bygrave beginning to look like a very accomplished defender? He can’t head the ball mate. He didnt win one header all night against 2 pretty small forwards in Davies and Highes. He doesn’t time his jumps correctly. If he improved on this then yes, i a gree, he will be a very accomplished defender.

    RE the referee.. that was the worst performance i’ve ever seen at priestfield. How he didn’t give a) a foul on cumbers and b) the defender his marching orders for being the last man i’ll never know.

    Petts Wood Gill, and any other Gills fan for the matter.. Yes Gary Mulligan puts in a great amount of effort every game – fair play to him for that, but he has no ability. he was abysmal on tuesday. work rate counts for nothing if you can’t score goals as a forward. i just don’t see what he offers. at least del is big and strong and has great aerial ability. what actually does mullers bring? bar work rate. very little. he wouldn’t score 10 goals in the conference. sorry mullers, i like you, but you’re not good enough buddy.

  10. The Morty Vicker says:

    Mulligan : 5 league goals in 9 starts this season
    Facey : 3 league goals in 20 starts this season

    Doesn’t really suggest that Facey brings more to the side than Mullers….

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