Will the real Gills stand up?

Saturday 11 October – Gills 5-0 Morcambe 0

So, what to make of a wildly inconsistent start to season where we have conceded 14 goals in 5 away games and 1 goal in five at home? Following the abject seven goal surrender at Shrewsbury, a far from convincing win at home to Port Vale in arguably one of the poorest games EVER witnessed at Priestfield and yet another capitulation away at Exeter, confidence going into this game was far from high.

Rumours floated around the Rainham End at kick off that if the Gills lost, this could indeed be Stimson’s last game and one read of Scally’s programme notes left one in no doubt how difficult it was trying to kindle any interest in the club from outside investors when we are becoming a complete laughing stock on the road.

In truth this match started in the same vein as Port Vale. Plucky but clearly limited opponents having the best of the opening 20 minutes whilst the Gills huffed and puffed, sent passes all over the place and generally looked a bit shite. Mind numbing tedium was broken by a free header from Bentley which led to an astonishing transformation of the display. Immediately, heads were up, confidence flowed and the passing football we know that the team are capable of arrived. A lovely flowing move led to Jackson’s sharp shot from the edge of the area which beat the cumbersome Roche. Similar good play led to another decent chance for Jackson which he tucked away with aplomb to the keepers right. So this is what it felt like to be a Shrewsbury fan! A Jackson hatrick was only averted on the stroke of half time by a smart save from a one on one.

The second half kicked off with 2 Morecambe players substituted and it quickly became apparent that our opponents had little inclination or ability to try and get back into the game and were reduced to some half chances with Royce barely having a save to make all game. The inevitable fourth finally arrived via some comedy goalkeeping/defending with McCammon resolutely refusing to poach the goal on the line following a deflected 40 yard Southall effort towards the vacant goal. Gills continued to create chances and whilst Jackson’s elusive hatrick wouldn’t come, McCammon bagged a fifth with a deflected shot from the edge of the area.

All in all a very satisfactory state of affairs particularly in light of the need to repair a woeful goal difference at such an early stage. Just as we did at Shrewsbury the away team pulled up the white flag and it was always going to be a question of how many.

Key for me was the replacement of Richards with Leigh Mills who looked assured, good on the ball with excellent positioning. It seemed to calm Simon King down too who was far less panicky than recent showings. Newly appointed captain Fuller grew in stature and confidence as the game went on and seems to have developed a bit of a cult following already with the Rainham End. In the middle the other Curtis Weston showed up and played probably his best game for the club. The reintroduction of Mulligan also made a difference, never looked like scoring but worked superbly in tandem with Jacko.

For me Jacko showed why at this level he clearly is a 20 goal a season striker. Against leaden footed defenders he took his chances superbly and its great to see him in the goalscorer charts in the Sunday papers.

So alls well at Priestfield but the million dollar question is will we be able to turn things around on the road in order to muster a challenge for promotion? As things stand right now my money is on a play off finish with a fantastic home record only marred by more despair and utter rubbish away from home.

Champagne Moment

Jacko’s first. Great strike to finish off a move which showed that yes the Gills can play football if they really put their minds to it.

BJ Gill

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4 Responses to Will the real Gills stand up?

  1. detritus says:

    I actually think Royce’s save at 0-0 was the spark that was then ignited when Bentley scored.

  2. Bring Back Les Berry says:

    Overall a fabulous afternoon in the sunshine – can’t football always be like this?

    I think Mcammon left it as he would have been offside -a footballer with brains, surely not!

    Big mention to the Morecambe fans in the Livi before the game drinking champagne for an old dear’s birthday. They were all over 50 and quite humourously pissed. Good luck for the rest of the season – shame the little muppets who have surfaced in a lot of the other teams’ support s (Bournemouth, Swindon etc.) can’t be as pleasant as you guys.

    Up the Gills!

  3. Andy W says:

    So, was that a performance from a team who don’t want to play for the manager? Possibly, as the real test is away from home when they know they will only get grief from the 400-odd away fans. And they have been so poor away. BUT, the reason for the ‘reply’ is that I went to the reserve game last night. I have to confess that it wasn’t so much to watch the Gills stiffs but to support a neighbour who was playing for Charlton. The big surprise to me, having seen so much dross in the past year, was how committed the reserves were. They played the ball along the deck, except Richards who had a mare on the ball, but to be fair played at 100% and was vocal and clearly wanted to prove a point to Stimson. Several decent performances by the boys, who seemed to play with so much confidence, perhaps they should play in front of 100 people every week. OK, it was against a very young Charlton side, but the Gills played as a team who wanted to play football to feet and keep the ball, and got stuck in. I think I’ll give the first team games a miss and watch the stiffs in the future.

  4. Chris says:

    I’m genuinely of the opinion that confidence is the big issue because in each game we’ve won we’ve scored 1st and in all our defeats we’ve conceeded 1st and generally away teams sit back, certainly in comparison to the home team, which means when we are at home we have more opportunity to build up the momentum towards getting the 1st goal.

    Yet away from home our defence rarely gives the feeling of being able to repel constant and prolonged attacks from the opposition. Maybe if Mills & King can build on their performance on Saturday this might change but I think the main change that needs to be made is to have a defensive midfielder whose sole role is to break up opposition attacks and play simple passes to his team mates.

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