Saturday, 16 September 2017

Gillingham 1 v Charlton Athletic 0

Bad day at Black Rock. We were beaten by the Gills for the first time in a league encounter for over 200 years. Two defeats inside five days and the inquest has begun....

Personally, I am not in the least surprised. We may have deserved more from this game but we clearly didn't do nearly enough to win. We simply don't have enough cutting edge or a strong enough squad to expect to roll sides over week-in, week-out or to win automatic promotion. It really shouldn't be surprising to anybody. We haven't spent any money visibly strengthening our squad. We have simply shifted our footing within our wage bill, and whilst Robinson may have done well on that basis it's pretty clear that we aren't going to waltz the league. As I keep saying, there will be no sustainable change all the time we have an owner whose crystal clear focus is on making a profit. In this league that means running a tight budget and profiting on player sales. Simple as. However frustrated or angry you might be, he isn't - he really doesn't give a toss and no-one is going to change his mind, not Karl Robinson or Katrien Meire, let alone the rest of us.

Meanwhile, I watched the Wings again, this time in F A Cup action and a real sense of deja vu. Up against Haringey Borough, a side two divisions below them, I watched the Wings out-run and out-fought for much of the match. Boro scored early after a long ball was knocked over the advancing Dillon Barnes and rolled into an empty net. The visitors dominated for the rest of the first half whilst Welling waited for someone to take the initiative.

After the break the Wings did pick-up and they looked like the superior side for much of the half but they simply lacked the urgency to turn the match. Joe Healy equalised and Christian Nanetti earned a penalty which should have won the game. Unfortunately, his poor spot-kick was gobbled up in the Boro goal and within a minute the visitors had a penalty of their own. The Wings left-back, Jefford who had a woeful personal display, hauled down his man in the box and Gabriel scored his second from the spot. After that it was a case of countdown and time-wasting for the north London outfit who could afford a couple of bookings as they eased their way into the next round. Welling can now concentrate on the league and a visit next week to Havant and Waterlooville - Addick Tony and his son are booked on the train - hardy souls.

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