MATCH REPORT: Gillingham 0 Newcastle United 1, Priestfields, 26/Aug/14, KO: 7:45pm, League Cup 2nd Round. Att:

by • August 27, 2014 • Match reportsComments Off on MATCH REPORT: Gillingham 0 Newcastle United 1, Priestfields, 26/Aug/14, KO: 7:45pm, League Cup 2nd Round. Att:583

We arrived in Gillingham at around 5:30 and judging by the lack of activity around the Priestfield Stadium Gillingham1and the town in general is was obvious that they weren’t expecting us.
After several laps of narrow streets around the ground and the usual customery waves to some of the local youths we were eventually picked up by the local Constabulary outside the players entrance of the main stand. One of the local plod in the car had a hair cut like the Fat Ronaldo did in France 98 and very quickly comments were made about how come he was now moonlighing as one of Kent’s finest.
These two local bobbies will definitely make Inspector very quickly as it only took a conversation in the back of their car with our driver for them to realise we were the visiting fans.
Kent Police 1 Geordies in Cognito 0.
After the usual silly questions like, 1) Who is on the bus and 2) Have the been drinking, they escorted us to the assigned away fans pub, The Fleur De Lis. At this point another coach had joined the massive police escort of one Volvo car and we all descended into the pub.
There was a really good atmosphere in the bar with the usual songs been belowed out at the top of our voices,  “Dont Take Me Home” and the “Blaydon Races to name a few.
We spent a couple of hours in the pub enjoying the beverages on offer and the friendly atmosphere. And then it was time to had to the ground which was a 10 minute walk away. It was great to get back to grass roots football. Ticket stubs been taken instead of the bar code reader, bars with no beer and a temporary stand with no cover and made out of scaffolding. We really had hit the big time.
As far as the game was concerned Gillingham opened really brightly and had a penalty appeal against Colo turned down in the opening 15 minutes. The referee ruled rightly that there was no infringement, but this was an early warning for The Toon. Chances fell for both Abeid and Riviere, the former was pulled wide and the latter straight at the keeper.
We seemed to be reduced to half chances and hopeful punts from range, when Obertan with a bit of trickery down the right lofted the ball across the box which bounced of ex-Mackem Egan and into the net. 1-0 TOON!!!!
Apart from a Riviere cross that was caught easily by the keeper and Obertan chance after been put through by De Jong the first half was a bit of a disappointment form our point of view. The highlights of the first half apart from the goal were the 17th minute applause for John & Liam, which was observed by both sets of fans and the rendition of “Hello!! Hello!! We are the Geordie Boys!”,  which went on for 10 minutes. The support to the team was class from the 1,200 Mags who had made the 600 mile round trip. No doubtly swelled by the South East based Mags.
In the second half Hiadara smashed a brilliant long range effort against the cross bar. Colo hit a chance straight at the keeper and Cabella also threatened cutting inside and Janmaat was denied a first Toon goal. Newcastle were poor in the second half giving the calibre of players on the field and their lower league opposition. Gillingham defended well with 2 banks of four and were frustrating the lads and us on the terraces.
Krul made a reflex save from a 20 yard Gillingham strike and I for one thought they deserved an equaliser but was hoping and praying they didn’t get one.
The Toon kept their composure and saw the job through without the need for extra time or penalties. Some were saying it was a professional performance in avoiding a potential banana skin. I think that we were lack lustre and there are still question marks over the new signings. Janmaat’s lack of desire to beat a man on the outside and Cabella been light weight. Only time will tell if the new signings work out, but I know if we play like that in the Premier League we’ll get demolished.
For me, we went to Kent, took the win an got out of town. I’m not criticizing the lads because you can only beat what’s in front of you and at the end of the day we have progressed to the next round.
And now for the 300 mile journey home which was made all the more worse by the A1 been closed and us having to head up the A19.  Fosters lager and a sing song did lighten the journey, with us eventually arriving back home in Co. Durham at 06:30am.
The things we do for the Toon.

MATCH REVIEW Gillingham 0 V Newcastle United 1 (Rusty Egan OG)

Tuesday August 26, Priestfield Stadium, KO 7.45PM, Capital One Cup.

Conditions – Overcast with slight drizzle

Attendance – Full house

At face value a 1-0 victory at lowly Gillingham through an own goal may seem like United didn’t have things all their own way, but nothing can be further from the truth. The reality is that a 3-0 victory would have been a fairer reflection of United’s dominance as they dominated long periods of the game playing , at times, some neat and inventive football through midfield with both fullbacks, Haidara & Janmaat plenty involved. Sissoko strolled through the game, once again not punching his weight, and with the ability of how not to play a ball with a deft touch, Aarons showed that we could have a crowd pleaser on our books with his pace and directness, De Jong looked a long way from full fitness, Riviere played wholly with his back to goal and look a frustrated man when he was replaced, Abeid was neat and tidy and fought well for the ball when he lost it, Krul hardly got his gloves dirty, Coloccini hardly broke sweat, Taylor’s notable contribution was to take an eternity to tie his laces in the first half, Obertan was his usual self, promising at times yet a total liability the rest of the game.

As for the master tactician’s substitutions; Cabella, a ringer for Kenny Wharton physique-wise, came on for the injured Aarons, the lively Perez replaced De Jong and Gouffran got a few minutes when he substituted Riviere.

As related earlier, United mainly strolled through this game against a spirited Gillingham side, having the ascendancy from the first minute when they sussed that the home time were fielding 3 centre halves. The margin of victory could (and should) have been greater, but more than often a lack of bodies in the box meant that some decent work down the flanks wasn’t rewarded. Perhaps some players were under orders from the master tactician not to get too far forward or maybe, like Sissoko they just couldn’t be arsed to get into forward areas knowing that the game was virtually over once United took the lead. However, as seasoned Toon fans are all to acutely aware, the slender lead was nearly equalised as around the 70 minute mark United imploded for a couple of minutes, presenting Gillingham with opportunities that they had failed to create for themselves. A half decent save by Krul keeping United in the lead after some slack defending.

As a spectacle the game will hardly linger in the memory, indeed such was the lack of atmosphere the game was held in almost near silence at times, save for hearing the players shouts on the pitch.

Fair play to the Gillingham faithful for joining in on the 17th minute applause to the 2 perished mags, wether you support a shite team like them or a shite team like us, the overwhelming majority of fans are one and the same. Cheers Kentish men.

So it was a relief to depart the Priesfield and the worst ‘away’ end that I think I’ve ever encountered, the stand made me feel like I was in one of the temporary stands at the last hole of a pro golf tournament, and Gillingham is hardly the sort of place where you’d be in a hurry to return to. That and another insipid performance from Pardew’s team, lack of goal action and the fact that it took an hour just to get back into my London bolthole made me wish that its another 30 odd years before we visit Kent again. And it’s not the Kent that is the garden of England, home to the White Cliffs of Dover and of the Canterbury cticket ground. No, Gillingham is one of what I learned is the ‘Medway Towns’ not the sprucest part of the country.

My final thoughts are that at least wer’e in the hat for the next round, fuck knows we may have the delights of Milton Keynes next but whilst Pardew continues to approach the game with a safety first mentality, watching the Toon is becoming a bit of a chore. However, we’ll support you evermore.

Thanks For Listening

(name and address supplied)


Gillingham: Bywater, Legge, Egan, Davies, Fish, Hessenthaler, Dack, Pritchard (A Morris 46), Hause, Kedwell (Norris 65), McDonald (German 65).
Unused subs: G Morris (GK), Hoyte, Dickenson, McGlashan.

Newcastle United: Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini, Taylor, Haidara, Sissoko, Abeid, Obertan, de Jong (Perez 68), Aarons (Cabella 60), Rivière (Gouffran 86)
Unused subs: Elliot (GK), Dummett, Anita, Ferreyra.

Referee: Oliver Langford

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