Date:Sunday May 6 2012
Gillingham 2-0 Morecambe
After another long season, the individual fragility going into the final game of the season starts to show through as a supporter. I just wanted the game and the season done.
On the 5th May 2012, the Gills were to take on the Shrimps at Priestfield, a match which had no significance on the honours sharing list for League Two. I had been in a bad mood all week in the lead up to this game, best summed up in my comments on twitter on the Saturday morning, when I said it felt like the wait to see the dentist to have a tooth pulled. The only hope was that the pre match alcoholic refreshments would numb the pain in the same way you attempt whisky on dental pain.
The weather was not going to help lift the mood with the forecast having resembled that of a winter forecast in December, on a cold day but one that did ease off at least with the rain.
I left my usual trip to our fortress later than normal and was more working out if my journey home would get me back in time for the start of the FA Cup Final, certainly unlikely. Not that I cared who really won between Chelsea and Liverpool, any love I had for Premier League sides was lost back in nineties but the Cup Final is still part of football tradition, sadly gradually being eroded with its 5.15 kick-off.
So an emotionally mixed day of thoughts after a season that promised so much for Gillingham. We have certainly seen some goals and exciting games along the way, probably exaggerated statistically but 4-3 seemed a popular score line through the games. Ironic during the season that of the 22 league home games out of 23 that I witnessed, the one I missed was a nine goal thriller against Hereford. However, I have a sense of humour and at least it has been well and truly embedded in my memory by fellow supporters!
On arrival at the ground for the Morecambe game, I had originally planned on cutting my costs and saving the £3 on the Official Match Day Magazine but I had heard before the game that Tom Clee had written another article following an interview with our Argentine goal keeper Paulo Gazzaniga clever marketing because if there was anything that was ever going to twist my arm in making the purchase, it would be an interview with Gazza and especially something written by Tom.
Many fans will not agree with me but I have no interest in any financial return on Gazza or any interest from other clubs. I do not know what it is with Paulo but like the blue blood that runs through my veins, he is part of that functioning heart and any sale would be like taking away that life support.
I was surprised by Andy Hessenthaler team selection, the game had no significance other than to finish on a high and send the fans home happy, I thought he might have taken the opportunity to give some young blood a run out. Sorry but I had no time for lap of honours, after continued promises over the last two seasons under the current managers reign. I have no expectation as a Gillingham supporter and having followed them since 1974, you accept life is generally as a Division Three team or League One by the structure as it is today. Here we are still languishing in Division Four/League Two.
The Championship days have long gone and we are back to basics or even reality. So my patience sometimes wears thin, because I see promises as marketing, maybe as you get older you just become more critical boarding on cynical.
In truth through the message boards I have certainly been outspoken in my thoughts towards team selections but the critic has been bred in me over the last two seasons because of promises. The club I feel can be its own worst enemy.
So I take to my seat and the teams take to the pitch, Tommy Trublu the Gills mascot walks towards the Rainham End and gives gestures of raising the roof but it was only met with polite applause.
The game was to be a comfortable 2-0 win for the Gills, with both goals coming from one of my favourites Charlie Lee. At the end I left immediately with my silent protest but remembering I was there having made the effort to go to the game, along with having already departed with money and committed to another season.
When I return for the new season what do I want to see?
Gazza, Tomlin, Essam taking to Priestfield turf again and a decent winger would be nice. As for Andy Hessenthaler, well that is a matter between him and the Chairman and I will accept whatever decision is made.
On leaving the ground there was to be no dropping in to the Blues Rock Cafe for a final post match drink, the bar had been reserved for the special event tonight of the Player of the Season Awards, which I since know and with no surprise went to a deserved Danny Jackman, while Young Player of the Year went to none other than Paulo Gazzaniga.
Date:Sunday May 6 2012
Thrilled Allen Scoops Award (Tuesday May 21 2013)
King Calls It Quits (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Experience Pair Wanted (Monday May 20 2013)
Pre-Season: Gills Add To Schedule (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Pre-Season: Lions Coming To Town (Tuesday May 14 2013)
Payne Set For Permanent Posh Switch? (Monday May 13 2013)
Former Loanee Opts For Portsmouth (Saturday May 11 2013)
That Could've Been Me (Friday May 10 2013)
Hessenthaler Leaves Priestfield (Tuesday May 7 2013)
Trio Honoured By Their Peers (Tuesday April 30 2013)
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