We look ahead to Saturday's game at Vale Park...
PORT VALE V GILLINGHAM
Vale Park, npower League Two
Saturday September 22
Martin Allen will have to do without three midfield players for their top of the league clash with Port Vale with Jack Payne (groin), Myles Weston (back) and Charlie Lee (knee) all injured.
Lewis Montrose could therefore return to first team action with Bradley Dack (suspension) also missing out following his dismissal against Southend on Tuesday night.
As for Port Vale they have no new injury or suspension concerns and so manager Micky Adams could name an unchanged side following the 5-2 win over Fleetwood earlier in the week.
The Gills manager says the preparation towards Saturday’s fixture will not change despite the fact Port Vale are the club’s nearest challengers in League Two.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference he said:
“They have a good manager, they are a good team who have good players and it’s another test.
“It doesn’t make any difference [their league position] – we will freshen the team up, some other players come in and we might be even stronger. The players know what is going on, we have a few injuries so some are forced and the others are a gut feeling who could make their mark in the team.
“Charlie Lee isn’t fit, Myles Weston and Jack Payne are not fit so those three are out – we have a couple of knocks but I had a gut feeling that we needed to freshen it up. The lads ran themselves into the ground the other night.”
Current Form (league games):
Port Vale – WDWWW (13 points)
Gills – WDWWW (13 points)
Port Vale – the season so far…
Vale have suffered just one defeat in the league this season, that being a 2-0 loss against Accrington Stanley at the Crown Ground on August 21.
Since then they have won five of their last six matches and come into this game 2nd in the league table, just three points behind Gillingham who have yet to be beaten in the league this season.
In their last three matches Vale have scored 14 goals, five against Fleetwood on Tuesday, three against Plymouth last weekend and a further six against Rotherham on September 8.
As for their progress in cup competitions Vale lost their Capital One Cup First Round clash against Burnley 3-1, and in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy they are through to the next phase of the tournament after overcoming Tranmere 2-0.
We’ve met before:
The last time the two sides met in competitive action was in February earlier this year when Vale bagged two late goals to deny Gillingham all three points.
A Chris Whelpdale header put the visitors in front on the stroke of half-time but Sean Rigg and Marc Richards scored in the last 10 minutes of the game to seal the win.
In total the two sides have met 41 times. Both teams have won 13 games each with the remaining 15 resulting in a draw.
Port Vale will wear their home kit of white and black shirts, black, gold and white trim shorts and black socks.
Gillingham are expected to wear their home kit of red shirts, white shorts and blue socks.
Referee: Darren Bond
Assistants: Richard Martin & Stephen Daly
Fourth Official: Sarah Garratt