Off on holiday the morning after the Accrington Stanley game, Monsieur Salut presents a pre-prepared edition of prize Guess the Score, with Gillingham condemned to the long midweek trek north …
When Sunderland travelled to Gillingham back in August, the emphatic 4-1 win was the third of the new season and seemed likely to be followed by a smooth ascent into the top two. They scored first but even that early setback was nullified a minute later as we romped to victory.
Peterborough and Portsmouth had won their first four games, so SAFC had to settle that evening for fourth place, having dropped one point. But it was reasonable to expect the leaders would fade as we continued to assert ourselves under new management and new ownership, with a fresh-looking squad.
Twelve more League One draws later (as I write, prior to the Accrington Stanley game), we know how that expectation came unstuck.
Peterborough and Portsmouth followed my script and faded, Posh more than Pompey. But our own push for promotion has undeniably run out of steam and we not longer have the cushion of games in hand; we now need the present frontrunners Luton and Barnsley to lose while we regain winning form. The midweek visit to Barnsley on March 12 could assume mighty importance.
For now, have a go at predicting the scoreline in the last of three successive home games.
For the first reader to be right, there’s the usual prize of the dressing room mug bearing five names of his or her choice on the shirts shown. A suitable alternative would be found for a non-Sunderland supporter, but any winner must have a UK delivery address.
Ha’way the Lads.