Reid's Head Demanded As City Lose To Gills

Last updated : 29 December 2004 By Kev Monks

Last May,City put in a tremendous performance to win 5-2 and in our last game of 2004, and under Peter Reid,all City could manage was a 3-1 defeat. Progress,Mr McGinnity I think not.

We travelled down a very busy M1 ,M25 and M2,eventually finding somewhere to park amongst the back streets of the Kent town before making our way into the ground and joining around 500 City supporters in the Priestfield Stadium including supporters from as far as Dubai.

Peter Reid had promised to ring the changes and he made five changes from the team that had been beaten by Sheffield United.

In came, Richard Shaw, Steve Staunton,Neil Wood,Graham Barrett and Eddy Johnson.

After a minute silence to mark the passing of those killed by the South East Asian Tsunami,the game kicked off with a Steve Staunton cross just missing Graham Barrett at the far post.

Gillingham who were second bottom at the start of play had Barry Ashby booked in the seventh minute for a foul on McSheffrey and were starting to pressurize the City defence.

Paul Smith had fired with a tenth minute effort and four minutes later,Aston Villa reject Darren Byfield was allowed space by the sluggish Adie Williams to get in a 25 yard shot.

Now it was not a particularly hard shot or one even difficult to save, but Luke Steele,somehow allowed the ball to squirm through his hands and go into the net and for Byfield to race to the Main Stand and celebrate the goal with his Brummie pop star girlfriend. Jameila.

City came back with Gary McSheffrey hitting the crossbar from twelve yards. The effort from the Coventry kid did not appear to come off anyone but the referee Mr Joslin gave City a corner.

At this point, I had a fit,so apologies if I missed anything but when I regained my composure,Gillingham won two corners thanks to Mamady Sidibe free headers.

In the 26th minute, Sidibe got past Carey on the left and squared for Byfield to get in a close range shot that Steele saved with his legs.

Despite not giving their former manager Andy Hessenthaler a run-out, the Gills were still in favour of the physical football and a scuffle broke out between Smith and McSheffrey after the defender had shoved McSheffrey into the advertising hoardings.

Stephen Hughes was having a fine game,and despite covering for the hapless Neil Wood and doing his own job, he raced through only to strike the foot of the post with half an hour gone.

A tame shot from Barrett followed before Steve Staunton did well in the 36th minute to get over a cross from the left. Up rose Dele Adebola and a bullet header from the Nigerian some six yards out meant that City were level.

Darren Byfield who was being taunted with "Villa Reject" chants every time he looked at the ball,was cautioned for kicking the ball away and then protesting the decision.

In the 41st minute,City reject Steve Banks made a fine save with his feet for a corner. Carey's kick was headed on by Barrett and the ball went agonisingly wide.

Mr Joslin was not having the best of games and in the 45th minute was conned by Sidibe as he went to ground and Richard Shaw was booked.

For some reason,Graham Barrett was replaced at half-time by Stern John,he was certainly no worse than any other City player on the pitch and the appearance of John was not well received.

Gillingham attacked straight from the start with a flap by Steele giving the home side a 46th minute corner.

Another followed seconds later and with panic in the City defence, Ian Cox stabbed the ball into the net.

We were still berating the poor defending as Ian Cox headed in a free kick to increase the home side's lead.

That was it for the City supporters but not the Chairman who was sunning himself in Majorca, and chants of "Reid Out" were started to be clearly heard.

Stern John had missed with a free header from six yards when he made a half hearted attempt to chase down a ball from Hughes. As John ambled back to the centre circle,he was met by a chorus of "Stern John Is A Lazy Tw*t" from some now very disgruntled City supporters.

In the 66th minute, Alan Pouton was cautioned for an off the ball offence against Stephen Hughes.

The hard working City captain got involved again when he reacted to a over zealous challenge from Pouton. Thankfully,a word from the referee who was taking his fair share of abuse from the home supporters.
In the 78th minute,Reid made his second change taking off Neil Wood and bringing on Michael Doyle.
Adie Williams took the list of cautions to five
when he was carded three minutes later for protesting at a decision he found harsh.
To be fair to the former Reading defender,he had a point as there were some meaty challenges coming in and many around me thought that Mr Joslin had lost the plot.
As the game came to a close, shots by McSheffrey and Hughes did not trouble Banks and neither did a John header from a free kick.
Now those of you who have been to Priestfield in the past will know that the changing rooms are in the corner of the ground nearest to the away end.
As Peter Reid walked down to the tunnel, City fans flung themselves down the steps in an attempt to get at the City manager whose shoes I would not like to be in at the moment. A line of police kept Reid save and the abuse was more verbal than physical.
As the City supporters made their way out of the Bobby Moore Stand,there were chants of "We Won Here With Black", "Sack The Board" and "Reid Out".
This has to be one of the worst City performances this season. Awful was far too polite for it. Reid can promise all the changes he wants but if he can't motivate his players then it's time he looked for employment elsewhere.
ATT 8734
Goals Darren Byfield (14)
Dele Adebola (36)
Ian Cox (47 & 48)
Booked Ashby,Byfield,Pouton,Shaw,Williams
Man Of the Match - Stephen Hughes with a good mention for Dele Adebola
Wood (Doyle 78),Johnson,Barrett (John 46), Adebola,McSheffrey SNU Shearer,Giddings, Laville