We look ahead to this weekend's fixture...GILLINGHAM v FLEETWOOD TOWN
npower League Two
Saturday December 15 2012
MEMS Priestfield Stadium
Martin Allen revealed in his midweek press conference that Chris Whelpdale may not be involved this weekend due to a groin injury.
The midfielder missed the game against Rotherham and may sit out once again, although he will be assessed on Friday before a final decision is made.
Connor Essam is available for first team selection once more after missing the trips to Preston North End in the FA Cup and last weekend’s league win at Rotherham due to a thigh strain. Callum Davies also comes back in to consideration after being rested for the game at the New York Stadium.
Ross Flitney is out on loan at Eastleigh while Alex Brown has joined Maidstone United for some first team experience.
As for Fleetwood they could be without influential midfielder and former Scotland Captain Barry Ferguson after he limped off after 29 minutes of last weekend’s draw with Southend with a groin problem.
Skipper Steve McNulty has been missing recently with a calf injury and is doubtful for the trip. They have joined Anthony Barry (knee) who is continuing to recover and played for the reserves during the week, Andrew Mangan (knee), Youl Mawene (foot) and Jon Parkin (hamstring) in the treatment room.
Martin says he is excited by this weekend’s game as a large crowd is expected at MEMS Priestfield, but says Fleetwood will be no pushovers with some big names in their team.
Speaking in his midweek press conference he said:
“They have a lot of good players who have played at a higher level – Championship, Premiership and international level in the last few years so they have certainly splashed out on the wages.
“Over the years they have done a remarkable job to get so many promotions and are on the back of, perhaps, another one.”
Fleetwood – the season so far….
Following last Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Southend Fleetwood are lying eighth in the npower League Two table having picked up 32 points (eight, eight draws and five defeats) from their 21 fixtures.
Previously on their travels they have won at Burton (1-0), Chesterfield (2-1), Morecambe (4-0) and York (2-0), drawn at Bristol Rovers, Cheltenham, Exeter, Rochdale and suffered defeat at Bradford and Dagenham.
As for their progress in cup competitions Fleetwood were knocked out in the first round of the Capital One Cup after a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest at Highbury.
In the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy they were again eliminated at the first hurdle after a 4-2 defeat to Rochdale via a penalty shoot-out after the scores had been level at 2-2 after 90 minutes.
In the FA Cup the side got to the second round after a 3-0 win over Bromley, but were unable to overcome Aldershot after losing 3-2 at home.
Deon Burton’s expertly executed brace against former club Rotherham United last Saturday took his Gills tally for the season to nine and he now trails Danny Kedwell by two.
Leading the goal scoring chart for Fleetwood is Junior Brown, the right-back turned winger, who has netted seven goals. ‘The Beast’ Jon Parkin has scored six times, David Ball comes next with five while Steven Gillespie has four.
Gills: DWLDW (8 points)
Fleetwood: DWLLD (5 points)
Referee: Craig Pawson
Assistant referees: Wade Norcott & John O’Brien
Fourth Official: John Magill
Previously this season Craig has taken charge of 16 games in which he has issued 53 yellow cards and three red.
The South Yorkshire official last refereed a game involving the Gills in August 2009 when Tranmere Rovers won 4-2 in League One at Prenton Park.