We look ahead to this weekend's FA Cup tie...
PRESTON NORTH END V GILLINGHAM
FA CUP WITH BUDWEISER 2ND ROUND
Deepdale, Saturday December 1
Martin Allen will be without goalkeeper Stuart Nelson who misses the game through suspension after being dismissed against Accrington last weekend, so Tommy Forecast will deputise in goal for his second start for the club, having also played against Crawley Town in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Jack Payne will return to the first team squad after the midfielder came through Tuesday’s development game against AFC Wimbledon unscathed.
Joe Martin completed 45 minutes and is available if selected, as is Danny Kedwell who has shrugged off a groin strain to be match fit.
As for Preston they are definitely without full back Scott Laird who suffered a broken leg during the club’s game against Notts County last week. Right back Keith Keane is also likely to be missing after suffering a knee strain during the same match.
Anthony Elding is cup-tied and therefore unavailable, however Ross Kane, who is on-loan from Chelsea, is likely to be part of the squad.
Striker Lee Trundle, formerly of Swansea, is also available for selection after a long term knee injury.
Preston - the season so far….
The Whites come into the game 11th in npower League One with 28 points to their name (seven wins, seven draws and six defeats).
Graham Westley’s side are in good form at this moment in time having lost just one game in their previous eight, although that was in their most recent encounter against Leyton Orient at the Matchroom Stadium last weekend when they were beaten 2-0.
Nicky Wroe is the club’s top goal scorer with eight goals to his name in all competitions and has helped to assist many goals from set pieces.
As for their progress in cup competitions they booked their place in the hat for the second round after a 3-0 home win against Yeovil. In the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy they have won their first two games in the competition (1-1 FT, 3-1 on penalties against Carlisle and 4-2 over Morecambe at the Globe Arena).
In the Capital One Cup they lost in the third round to the same team that knocked Gillingham out of the competition, Middlesbrough.
Martin believes the players have a great opportunity to set up a potentially rewarding third round tie against a Premier League side, however he and the players are approaching the game the same as any other.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference he said:
“It’s an exciting weekend, the FA Cup is special to all of us football supporters and it’s an opportunity for the players to put themselves up against a team in the division above.
“It’s a big incentive for me and for all of us – the staff, the people behind the scenes at the club, the supporters and the squad. Can you imagine what a laugh we would have if we went to a Premier League club away from home? We would have fun wouldn’t we?
“What a buzz it creates but let’s put the fantasies and dreams away and let’s just concentrate on enjoying the game Saturday and helping our players play well.”
We’ve met before:
The last time the two sides met was in April 2005 when the Gills came away from Deepdale with a point thanks to a 90th minute equaliser from veteran midfielder Paul Smith.
The two teams haven’t played each other for seven years and have never contested an FA Cup tie, however they have met 50 times in other competitions. Of those the Gills have won 15, Preston have won 14, and the remaining 21 games have resulted in a draw.
Current Form (the last five league games):
Preston: DWDDL (6 points)
Gills: DDWLD (6 points)
Referee – Trevor Kettle
Assistants – David Benton & Ross Joyce
Fourth Official - Scott Oldham