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Match Previews

Gillingham (A) Preview

7 September 2023

Match Previews

Gillingham (A) Preview

7 September 2023

Town will be looking to take the momentum from their impressive showing in midweek when they make the long trip south this weekend to face Gillingham.

The 2-1 win against Nottingham Forest U21s kicked off their EFL Trophy campaign in fine style and they will be looking to put an end to a run of two successive defeats on the road in League Two.

Our opponents

The Gills ended the 2023/23 season, their first back in League 2 for a decade, in 17th place having accrued 55 points. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story and it was very much a season of two halves with the side in relegation trouble heading into the turn of the year having struggled to find the back of the net on any sort of consistent basis.

The January window saw them bring in the likes of George Lapslie, Ollie Hawkins, Tom Nicholls and Timothee Dieng, with fortunes and results improving to see them ease clear of danger with games to spare.

Coming into this season they were touted as one of the promotion favourites and they currently sit in third position, having won four and lost two of their six games. Again, their defence has been the bedrock and they kept clean sheets in each of their victories, all by a 1-0 margin.

Last season

In mid-August Town came away from Priestfield Stadium with maximum points with Matty Daly striking in the first-half and Alex Pattison adding a second late on to secure a 2-0 win. The return fixture at The Envirovent Stadium was a goalless draw.

The man in charge

Neil Harris is now in his second season at the club, having initially been appointed in January 2022. He is most known for his association at Millwall, having made over 350 appearances for the club across two spells, also playing for Cardiff City, Nottingham Forest and Southend.

After a previous spell as caretaker manager, he was appointed on a permanent basis at Millwall in 2015, guiding the club to promotion to the Championship before resigning in 2019.

Harris then took the job at Cardiff City, finishing fifth in his first season and earning a spot in the playoffs. After a run of poor results the following season he departed in January 2021.

Ones to watch

Tom Nicholls is the creative hub for the side and he has assisted on two goals this season, whilst Timothee Dieng will also operate in a forward role behind the front man.

Ashely Nadesan, who arrived from Crawley in the summer, has struck twice this season and the club also added Macauley Bonne, the former Leyton Orient and Charlton forward to provide further options.

Another new arrival, Shadrach Ogie, signed from Leyton Orient, has settled in impressively in defence and Jonny Williams, previously at Swindon and a former Welsh international, arrived in the summer to bolster the midfield.

History

Gillingham joined the Football League in 1920, but just short of two decades later were voted out of the league in favour of Ipswich Town, returning to the Southern League.

They were voted back in in 1950 when the league expanded by four clubs, and almost reached the second tier in the 1980’s before reaching that level in the early 2000’s where they played for five seasons before suffering relegation.

The club bounced back to League One in 2013 where they remained for almost a decade, reaching a highest position of ninth, before dropping back to League Two at the end of the 2021/22 season.

The Gills have been managed by some notable names in recent times, including Andy Hessenthaler, Martin Allen, Peter Taylor and Tony Pulis.

Team news

Dean Cornelius remains unavailable through injury, but Simon Weaver will hope to have Jack Muldoon back in contention after he missed the midweek win in the EFL Trophy.

Toby Sims also made a successful return after an enforced concussion break and faces competition from Kayne Ramsay for the right back spot.

Jeremy Sivi was impressive on his debut in yellow and black on Tuesday night, though fellow deadline day arrival Josh March is not quite ready for action.

Meanwhile Luke Armstrong is registered for selection following Wrexham’s decision not to appeal the rejection of the striker’s transfer.


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