Eric Morecambe without Ernie Wise is a bit like playing well but not scoring.
To have them both together is a bonus and it’s something Gillingham are not getting right at the moment.
Against the Morecambe football team the Gills should have walked away with their first away win since May 09, but instead only just escaped with a point.
I suppose if you are going to draw a game, it’s always more satisfying to come from behind late on, and the final few minutes at Morecambe were pretty entertaining for the handful of Gills fans who had made the trip.
Only against Lincoln, and when the defence imploded against Norwich, have the Gills looked bad but without those goals it’s meant a hard slog for Andy Hessenthaler’s men in the first month of the season.
I don’t think there is any need to panic just yet though. Players are still coming back (seven were out injured on Saturday) and those teams with bigger squads generally come out on top in the end, and in League 2 the Gills certainly have a sizeable and decent bunch to choose from.
There were mixed responses from anyone I spoke to about Morecambe’s ground and personally there was a feeling that something was not quite right about it.
To have built a new stadium that is pretty much three-sided seems quite bizarre and it the whole place felt a bit bland.
I can understand them not wanting to go over-board like Darlington and build a stadium ridiculously excessive for their needs, but Morecambe seem to have gone the complete opposite and spent millions on a new ground that does little to capture the imagination.
The fans behind the Shrimps goal were largely quiet as well and even the lad with the drum seemed to have lost his enthusiasm.
We had a little drive to the sea-front after the game and I’m not sure if it was the weather (cold and wet) but the place was deserted and dreary. The only action was at the pub on the sea-front that was swarming with police and drunken girls.
On a plus side though the chips and curry sauce were top quality. A statue of a jovial Eric Morecambe looks quite out of place here but he obviously came when the sun was out.
It was great to see Danny Spiller off the mark with a goal at Morecambe and the way the players celebrated suggests there is a real team spirit developing, something that I think is going to be key.
It was a trip to Morecambe last time the Gills were in League 2 that helped change their season.
The Gillingham team, who at the time were struggling to force their way into the play-off picture, took in away games against Morecambe and Port Vale and stayed over for almost a week for a real team bonding exercise. They won them both and did enough in the second half of the season to make the play-offs.
Let’s hope the trip on Saturday can kick start this current campaign.
For anybody that is already writing the Gills off, it’s worth remembering that Barnet made the early running last season, under Ian Hendon, but with no funds to strengthen when they needed the extra push the team soon started to slide and only just avoided relegation at the end of the campaign.
Like the Gills, Bradford are also failing to live up to expectations and Peter Taylor made some refreshing comments after a shock 2-0 home defeat to Southend. He took the blame, saying: “I’m the one that puts the players together and when they play like that it’s my fault.”
“I signed the majority of the players so the way we played is down to me. There are no excuses.”
It’s nice to see a manager taking responsibility and I’m sure the expectation levels at Bradford (joint faves for promotion with the Gills) means he’s under massive pressure to succeed.
Chairman aren’t, generally, very lenient these days and Alan Pardew lasted just three league games before getting the boot.
A draw and a defeat was followed by a 4-0 win over Bristol Rovers, but that wasn’t good enough for the Southampton board. As for the Gills, it’s back to the seaside tonight.
The short trip (dependent on the Dartford crossing) across to Essex beckons as the Gills face Southend in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy South East section.
Not a game to arouse a great deal of excitement but there is a Wembley final at the end of it.
It’s the first time since February 1999 that the Gills have had an away match in the Football League Trophy, when they lost to a golden goal against Millwall.
I’ll be making the trip over and if you want to follow the action via our live commentry service then visit kentonline.co.uk/gillingham at 7.15pm. We’re getting plenty of followers so far and had one chap from New Zealand logging in on Saturday while watching whales out of his window.
If all you’ve got to look out of the window is a row of parked cars and your neighbours house, then let’s hope the action at Roots Hall keeps you entertained.