View from Travelling Support - Gillingham
Just as Saturday was disappointing but no reason to push the panic button, tonight was an improvement but no reason to go overboard.
I had a lucky break in that son and his mates, on being ferried to my place, heard about the problems at Dartford so we left at 4.30 ish and despite being stuck for long stretches got to Gillingham around 7.00 pm.
We saw that GW had made some changes and Gillespie wasn't being risked. Not sure how many of the changes were due to it being the cup and how many were as a result of Saturday's performance - maybe more the latter than the former.
Whatever the reasons the team seemed to be trying to knock the ball around a bit more, despite another swirling wind, although there was an early scare when McCammon burst through but Deano was off his line to make the save. He was to make 2-3 good saves in the game today to go with the ones he made at Hartlepool, he was sharper off his line and very vocal - I think he's back to his best I just hope no-one else notices until the transfer window shuts!
Mr Yeates was to have another enigmatic game, seemingly toying with the opposition at times and with his team mates at others. I would often have to scour the pitch to see where he had disappeared to this time and the full backs could be seen searching for him when they wanted to play the ball down the line only to find he had wandered to midfield or the other flank. He was far more effective tonight but his head is till not right.
Reid and Heath had a shaky start, playing quite a distance apart which allowed McCammon to burst through but improved as the game wore on, Ifill was getting forward with effect, Captain Kem was busting around midfield with Hammond and Wordsworth was far more involved than he had been on Saturday. Vernon worked hard and Platt won a lot of what was played up to him, both in the air but more often on the floor. Mind you, it didn't stop the guy behind me having a go at him whenever he could and ignoring any good things he did.
I had to check on the internet to confirm it was Heath that had scored. A corner from our left was put to the near post where it was knocked on across the goal for Heath to head it in off the bar I think.
Apart from that Yeates had a couple of shots, Wordsworth went close twice and Kem nearly rounded off a lovely move after Ifill had broke and played the ball in to Platt who headed it down into his Captains path. The shot was on target but the keeper made the save.
Gillingham pressed and Deano had to make another sharp save when Jackson (I think) got clear. Yeates was replaced by Elito, who looked lively but didn't have a lot to do and after a short spell of Gillingham pressure the U's were able to see the game out relatively comfortably.
One thing definitely didn't change from last season or from Saturday and I'm starting to think it never will - still no-one left up at corners although Yeates would occasionally stray out wide but never more than a few yards up from the box.
It will be interesting to see the team GW now elects to put out against Huddersfield, and whether any of those who missed out tonight get back. Gillespie, if fit, is a certain starter but who will partner him? He looked better at Hartlepool with Platt but Scott did nothing wrong tonight. Will he stick with Reid and Heath or will Coyne get his place and the armband back? Shame my badly timed holiday will stop me witnessing it :(
I heard about the stoning of the coaches and assume it was the Neanderthals who came running down the road towards the away end shouting 'Colchester where's your boys?' who were responsible. Seems strange when it is obvious that anyone walking up that road is an away fan that the police don't deem it necessary to stick an officer or two in the area.