Thursday, 5 November 2009

Last minute... again..

Southend v Gillingham- Last Friday

Considering it was a Friday night, Gills took a pretty decent following down to Roots Hall. It'd been a nice day but by kick off I was glad I had a shirt, a jumper and a gills shirt from 2004 layered under my coat. The whole week i'd been struggeling with a muscle pull down my left hand side and on that particular night it was afecting my left arm which should have meant clapping and making 'obscene' hand gestures was out of the question. It didn't, and I paid for it the morning after.

The first 10 minutes were back and forth and either side could have found themselves one or two infront. However, for the rest of the half, Southend dominated and we held our breath on many occasions, whilst Royce and the boys in Yellow constantly threw themselves infront of anything in the box. 0-0 at half time definately seemed like a good score, with the team shooting our way in the 2nd fourty five.

This time, Gills had the better of it. An indirect free kick on the 6 yard line was our best opportunity to break the deadlock but Mark Bentley somehow managed to put it further over the top than we in the stand behind thought humanly possible. And we were made to pay...
In the 92nd minute, a break away down Southend's left found the ball at Lee Barnards feet . He held the defender off well and turned to poke the ball into an empty net. Heartbreak. And not for the first time. I've lost count of the amount of times Gills have lost or thrown away 3 points in the dying seconds, but here's another to chalk up. The final whistle blew moments later and the faithful trudged silently and thoughtfully towards the exits.

It did make me realise how much i've missed watching them, even if nothing else. You can get incredibly emotionally involved with a club and the result that night set the tone for the whole weekend. But I wouldn't change that. If we'd won i'd have watched the results from other teams in the division on Soccer Saturday with much more vigour and interest, the mrs would have been given a much easier time and i'd probably have shelled out for a cup ticket at Priestfield this coming weekend and cancelled the plans the better half had put in place many weeks ago. But I still wouldn't change it. It's what makes the life as a football fan as much of a roller coaster ride of emotions as it is.

I booked tickets today to watch Fulham at Craven Cottage for the first time on December 3rd, two days after my debut visit to the Matchroom Stadium, Leyton Orient. Gillingham's visit on the 1st will provide the perfect opportunity to drop in at Great Ormond Street and hand over the donations and memorabilia we collected on our tour.

Visiting the 92 grounds to see games is now very much on the agenda. Two new in December, another on Boxing day and at least two more in the last few months of the season.


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