Saturday 29 March 0 Gills 0 – 0 Carlisle
Our demise against tail end charlies Vale, and a general failure to despatch teams in and around us at the wrong end of the table has left the team under pressure to sneak some points against promotion chasing sides like Carlisle. The majority who’d witnessed recent performances probably didn’t hold out much hope of a result against the second placed Cumbrians, but anyone who has watched football for long enough will know that the gap in quality between top and bottom often gets eroded as the season enters its final third.
Carlisle arrived on a run of 7 wins and 2 draws from 9, and the manner in which the game started suggested it was going to be a difficult afternoon. Nicky Southall was forced to clear off the line in the opening moments, but after surviving the early pressure the Gills gradually got the grips with their lofty opponents.
The crowd had been boosted by the club’s decision to give away 2000 free tickets, and no-one is going to sensibly argue against this sort of initiative if it puts a few extra bums on seats, and boosts the atmosphere (which has notably improved in recent home games). Maybe the marketing of the product on offer next season will be more carefully considered – £23 to pay on the day in the Rainham End? I don’t think so Mr Scally.
Simeon Jackson was once again the man who missed the opportunities, but to give him his due, he is at least prepared to have a go at goal – something which was sadly lacking in his predecessors Mulligan and Facey (maybe if you turn up for training next time eh lads – you might just learn something) . Jackson’s willingness to shoot from anywhere is reminiscent of the great David Crown – and his 25 yard hit against the crossbar certainly had a touch of the Crown about it. This, allied with his ability to take up intelligent positions in and around goal (another stark contrast to Messrs Mulligan and Facey) mean he will surely score goals in the future.
A solid performance was personified by the performance of Danny Cullip at the back – there is little doubt that we would not have conceded anything like the number of goals we had if Cullip had been around at the start of the season. Undoubtedly this was a point gained – but all the good work will continue to be undone if we cannot put away the lesser sides.
Champagne Moment:- One visiting player felled by a clearance from his colleague that hit him square in the cahonies.