Has it stopped raining? Do we actually think we might see some football this week? It’d be nice to think so – one-and-a-half weeks since the Everton game and two-and-a-half weeks since our last league game, we were starting to get withdrawal symptoms. First up now we have a fixture backlog to clear is Gillingham at the Lamex and a fixture that was originally meant to take place more than a month ago on New Year’s Day.
We’ve been kept waiting far too long to get another glimpse at EEMPT (DWAH)’s brand of exciting, incisive football. That said, with just 24 goals in 26 league games to our name, we probably can’t go making jokes about the attacking potency of other teams right now. This combination of postponements and FA Cup involvement, however, leaves us with games in hand – including at least two over those outside the bottom four.
We’ll put it out there now – we’d rather have the points on the board already. For a start, we’d have less to do between now and the end of the season. Under GW’s calculations, we still need a further nine wins to have a chance at staying in the division. Mind you, one of the things we’ve seen while twiddling our thumbs of late is that the bottom seven or eight romp to safety with one win, before plunging the depths with the next defeat.
It’s a funny old situation, and one we’re not out of. Yet.
We need to get on the winning wagon and that must start against Gillingham. It appears that the Gills have pulled themselves away from the relegation scrap, which may be good or bad for us – we don’t know. What isn’t good is the fact we’ve yet to beat Gillingham in three attempts. And their Goals For tally against us has increased in each game, from 1-0 to 2-2 to 3-2. Surely we can’t concede four this time round?
We’ll need to be switched on from crosses and corners too. The Gills have scored 13 with their noggins, which is the highest in our division. We’ve used our heads just twice to the same effect, predictably the lowest. Nine of our 24 goals have come after the break – also the lowest in the league – and something we need to address if we are to exploit the Gills’ fondness for conceding in the last 15 minutes (16 goals).
Gillingham’s recent form isn’t too shabby either, but it’s “interesting” to note that they’re on a mini-run of winning, then losing. Their last league outing was a win, so by that logic, they are due a defeat at the Lamex. Add that to all the other statistical nuggets we’ve seen and what do you know? The conclusion that football is a law unto itself; it’s unpredictable and not afraid to turn everything on its head. That’ll do us.
[expand title=”WE’VE MET BEFORE…”]
|26 Nov 2013||A||Sky Bet League One||2-3|
|01 Feb 2011||H||npower League Two||2-2|
|01 Jan 2011||A||npower League Two||0-1|
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Andy D’Urso was supposed to be the man in charge tonight, but he fancied giving us a last-minute rewrite by bailing out. It’s that sort of behaviour that makes us want to join a Facebook group like “Andy D’Urso. The worst referee ever to step on to a football pitch“; the fourth result that greets you if you search his name on Google. And that’s something you can try for yourself if you have the time and inclination.
Anyway, our referee for this fixture is now phantom goal-giver Stuart Attwell. With our problems finding the net, that could come in handy… Anyway, he’s had 24 and this official seems to love a card! Yellow, red, Christmas… they’re all there. We’re trying to work out which he’ll reach first this season – 100 yellows or 10 reds. Either way, let’s not give him any excuse to move closer to those milestones in this fixture.
This season for Stuart Attwell:
Games: 24 — Yellow: 82 (3.42pg), Red: 8
Our record under Stuart Attwell:
P6 W4 D1 L1 F16 A10 — Yellow: 3, Red: 0
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Day; Jones, Ashton, Hartley, Charles; Morais, Doughty, Mousinho, Freeman; Akins, Zoko
For obvious reasons, it’s the second time we’ve played this one out – we’d rather not do it a third time. Unlike the borefest that was the first time, we managed to find the back of the net this time as the match followed a similar pattern to other recent games. We dominated the first half and created a few decent chances, but it wasn’t until a Lucas Akins header on the stroke of half time did we have something to show for it.
Things started to get a little tetchy during the second half and we made some GW-inspired substitutions to try and shake things up. Not that Gills created much, however, as we held out fairly well and prevented them from having too many sighters at goal. But things took a frustrating turn on 79 minutes, when a Gillingham corner was deflected in off Chris Day’s forearm. And we’re pretty sure the taker no longer plays for them. BAH!
FT: Stevenage 1-1 Gillingham (Akins 45′)
[expand title=”BOOKIE BASHING”]
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