So This weeks edition of #learnwithites leads us to famous people from Gillingham because despite the name our opponents are not actually Dutch. Kicking off we have none other than Will Adams’s, famous mostly for having a medical centre named after him but he was also the first westerner to travel to Japan, now I’ve fallen asleep on the train a few times after football but never got to Japan, Dover, Faversham even Canterbury so hats off to Will. Secondly, famous cowboy Gary Coopers mum was born there, and today out of respect much of the town still resembles the Wild West. Lastly famous Alan Partridge impressionist David Frost hails from the historic town, although surely Chat…Ham would have been more applicable.
Bank holiday Monday it was then, a horrible day all round, more miserable than a night out with Morrissey and wetter than a haddocks bathing costume. Our visitors made the short trip along the A2 to Nuclear Island needing something from the game as they were neck a neck with Rochester fighting for relegation. What they needed was to come up against a team with one eye on the final and luckily for them Sheppey obliged. Having rested a fair few notably our entire forward line it was difficult to see where goals would come from but in the end I discovered the answer, Holland & Blair.
Having a work colleague who follows HB I was reliably informed their goalkeeping hero wasn’t playing due to his wife giving birth, selfish I know but surely this would work in our favour.
The game kicked off, the weather had blighted the crowd somewhat but still over 300 mutants turned up including a fair few from Medway. Straight away it showed who wanted the points more HB snapped into tackles, the Home side dangling legs in there in a half arsed fashion, our solid midfield seemed less so but I wasn’t bothered as we had big Johnno who that very morning had wrestled a bear with a toothache and single handedly emptied the Richard Montgomery of any harmful ammunition before making it back before ko and the colonel in place of Ralphy who had a more suspect groin than Frank “ Kellie” Maloney so we were covered. Timothy up front was doing manfully trying to eke out space but Ites were too pedestrian in getting the ball forward, HB seemed to be bossing the game so it was no surprise when Rob Denness be Rob De Saunders and fired Home giving Glover no hope 1-0 to the visitors and no more than they deserved. Having been to our game with Rochester the other week and seeing their dastardly tactics I can’t claim this goal bothered me too much but in fairness it seemed to bother the team who unlike Jeremy Beadle decided to make a fist of the game, first Timmy sprung the offside trap and sent an effort goalward that was narrowly deflected wide by a passing moth, Captain Batten and Girty had a couple of long range sighters that were more a danger to the coastguard than their keeper and then just as we thought we were never going to score we get a free kick ten yards from their area, this was Batten territory but up stepped young Cooper ( no relation to Gary’s mum) and with that wand like left foot curled it round the wall, the keeper, rooted to the spot like Douglas Bader with woodworm didn’t move, 1-1. We were back in it, even the rain stopped. The rest of the half was played out mainly in the HB half without Sheppey creating much but it was into the bar to dry out for us.
Second half out they come, Sheppey fresh from a Churchillian team talk set about the task with more vigour, Kwasi, the Magistrate, a man who’s attitude is second to none but having spent so much time on the bench he had started calling the forwards the prosecution was having a decent game as was Johnno who was up against a battering ram of a bloke built like the proverbial brick outhouse who curiously for a man his size was called Kushi, both were bouncing off each other but in the true spirit of the game. In fact Kushi had a decent chance to give the visitors the lead from a decent cross he looked up, saw Johnno was momentarily distracted by a passing female and shot straight at Glover, luckily his shot had all the venom of an impotent grass snake so the parity remained but not for long, a cross from the right evaded all the attackers, Glover, not wanting to be seen as a less than genial host got a hand to it managing to deflect it to the Blair forward who although surprised returned the favour and the ball into the empty net. 1-2 this was the signal for the rain to start again, this time heavier and more depressing than Dawn French, the hosts had seen the wind taken out of their sales and the goal had rejuvenated Blair who now looked like they were the mid table team. Easy E threw on young Alfie Bates in an attempt to unsettle the visiting defence with Hiccham settling just behind but in truth Blair saw the game out comfortably, no one got injured so most were fairly content with the score.
HB came for a point but deserved all three, a much changed team never looked up for it apart from a 20 minute spell but can’t have many complaints in the end.
MOM. For me Coopers goal capped a decent display and was probably the one highlight of a dour display but I’m going to give it to Kwasi, he’s more overlooked than a chubby girl at the school disco but by all accounts never moans, whines or complains about a thing. A true example to the younger lads starting out.