Thurrock Clenching

2 August 2008 – Thurrock 0-2 Gills

The final pre-season game and another afternoon amidst the beauty of the Essex countryside. And an exceedingly comfortable victory that could and should have a lot more comprehensive.

Stimson played what we can assume to be close to our first choice starting line-up, and we actually played a lot of effective and pretty football. I know we should be brushing sides like Thurrock aside but lets face it, it hasn’t been happening through one of the worst pre-seasons in my memory. Only 1989 comes close by my reckoning (when we lost to most of the Kent League), and you know we’ve come full circle when we start losing to Dover again.

I’d like to have seen Jackson notch a few more goals simply for his confidence, but he was unlucky on a couple of occasions, hitting the post and scoring the second goal just before half time, adding to Nicky Southall’s opener which was a screamer from way out wide. McCammon made his first start and though his touch was somewhat erratic we have to accept that he is short of match fitness. I wasn’t at all convinced by triallist Bobsam Elijiko at centre back – judgement is obviously reserved but he already looks to me like the sort of defender who has a chronic error in him in every game…maybe it was just an eagerness to impress. Miller got involved and was behind most of the incisive moves (of which there were many) and Royce had virtually nothing to do (this despite Thurrock fielding chunky Brazilian Ronaldo look-a-like Che Stodhart up front – he seems to have bulked up a bit since his Gravesend days).

The thing is – many of us have seen it all before. Pre-season campaigns really do mean absolutely nothing and anything could happen at Dean Court on the opening day. I personally feel quite comfortable with the way things are going, though I have missed most of our games so far. And looking on the real bright side…just think back to 1995. I would suggest that Royce is as good as Stannard (certainly as Big Fat Jim was perceived at the start of that season), King is better than Butler and Richards is remarkably similar to the uncompromising Mark Harris, Crofts is better than Dave Martin and Jackson has got more goals in him than Dennis Bailey. McCammon has an air of the Leos about him…ok, we’re lacking the finesse of Simon Ratcliffe and Steve Butler, and there is no Richard Green or Joe Dunne, and Stimson has a LONG way to go before he can fill Tony Pulis’s shoes, but the spine of our side isn’t looking too shabby. I’ve got low expectations but I’m certainly not going to get into a flap for a few weeks yet and others would be advised to do otherwise.

Champagne Moment

Southall’s screamer and Adam Miller’s frustrated swearing whenever he wasn’t given the ball where he wanted it…but generally a very pleasant afternoon. At least it didn’t rain…

The Morty Vicker

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6 Responses to Thurrock Clenching

  1. Sy says:

    The last Gills team to lose to Dover was Pulis’ side in 1995 and we all know what happened to them ?

  2. billthebikie says:

    I went to watch the first half of Gills away at Faversham Town the other week.4-0 up at half-time against a team of pie-guzzlers, we looked like Brazil c. 1970. Mentioning this to my Gills-supporting fish-monger in Whitstable a few days later, he replied, “Whitstable fuckin’ Town look like Brazil against Faversham”. He may have a point there. Oh, and Gary Mulligan walked past my house a couple of weeks ago, much to the delight of my son. Shyly signing a scrap of paper, he said La Manga had been hard work, and looked forward to next season “if he plays me”…. Life perhaps not so good for the energetic if shot-shy Irishman. He was on his way to the Whitstable Oyster Festival. Which was nice, I thought. I still think Stimson is dreadful, incoherent and a chancer. But I will wait until a dreadful home defeat against some shitbox team in November before losing it and embarrassing my poor lad. Cheers all…

  3. Singingtheblues says:

    I know people say you cant judge on pre-season games, but if we struggle to score pre-season I can hardly see us starting to score during the season which was one of the reasons we were relegated last year. I just cant see where the goals are going to come from. I think if we start scoring more than 1 per game on a regular occasion then we are in with a shout of the play offs as we will be very solid at the back with a spine of Royce, King, Richards, Crofts and Bentley. I also think Stimson is terrible but really hopes he proves me wrong, if we are not in the top half of the table by Christmas Scally needs to start searching for a Manager to rescue the club from the doldrums.

  4. glenn says:

    Having only witnessed the Faverham friendly (lucky me) where the lads looked in good shape and played attractive passing football against a really poor side I was quietly confident and expecting a good campaign but lets face it we are not a good side and we are certainly not in the same league as the side which kicked it’s way out of this league in 95. We look like the team that got bullied and made to look silly before Pulis took control. The 95 side was built to do a job, the players had experience and a mental toughness which I don’t see any of in this current squad. I would much rather be going into this season with Big fat Jim, Chopper Harris, Dave Martin and Leo than Royce, King, Crofts and McGammon. I think Stimsons heart is in the right place and he wants us to play stylish passing football but you can’t polish a turd and these players are not good enough. We will struggle to score goals, the defenders will fail to keep enough clean sheets (sound familiar) and we will finish top half only becasue the rest of the league is so pathetic. Please, please, please prove me wrong.

  5. partofthedoomandgloombrigade says:

    Thamk fuck Rotherham will start the league on minus 17 plus Bouurnemouthy have some deduction coming too.Without the unfortunate effect it will have on these clubs i think if it hadn`t happened we would struggle to avoid consecutive relegations.
    Scally Out!

  6. Bring Back Les Berry says:

    All the misery of the last five years is now being swept away by my usual pre-season optimism with a day to go to kick-off (I really wish I could go tomorrow), but some part of me says it will be just a dismal as the last time we kicked off at this level after relegation.

    Does anyone esle remember that fecking awful 0-0 with Aldershot after a summer spent dreaming of playing our way back out of the basement? It set the tone for 6 seasons of boredom punctuated by abject misery. The trouble is, I don’t see that we even have the limited quality of those teams, especially up front. Oh for a Lovell, Crown, Forster, or even Pike to come and lead the line.

    Anyway, I look forward to being completely wrong and enjoying our first rampant home win on Tuesday night. Let’s all get behind the lads (for the first 5 games at least!).

    UP THE GILLS!

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