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Match Previews


12 December 2013

We look ahead to Saturday's league fixture against Posh

MEMS Priestfield Stadium
Sky Bet League One
Saturday December 14
Kick-Off, 3pm

Team News:

Peter Taylor could include either Steven Gregory or Amine Linganzi in to his starting line-up for the visit of Peterborough.

Gregory has stepped up his training this week and is fit to play if required, with Linganzi being an unused sub for the game against Notts County at Meadow Lane last week.

The match has come a couple of days too soon for Craig Fagan, while Charlie Lee has recovered from a similar problem to be able to feature against his former club.

Jake Hessenthaler could make his home league debut after starting last weekend, although Chris Whelpdale is knocking on the door to return to first team action.

The Gills boss revealed he does have a few injury concerns, and there could be a few surprises on the team sheet.

As for the Posh it is likely they will include former Gills favourite Jack Payne in their first 11.

The midfielder, who came through the youth ranks at Priestfield to make 141 appearances, signed for the club in the summer following a successful loan spell and is expected to feature against his former employers despite a recent illness.

Kane Ferdinand and Kyle Vassell will return after being cup tied for Tuesday’s JPT clash with Newport County, with Joel Newell is also available following a thigh strain.

Defender Gabi Zakuani is also available after overcoming an injury, but midfielder Danny Swanson sits out due to suspension.

Captain Tommy Rowe (knee), defenders Craig Alcock (calf) and midfielder Danny Kearns (hip) sat out the midweek cup fixture and may all miss out again.

Manager Comments:

Peter Taylor is well aware how much of a threat Peterborough will pose on Saturday, but has told his players they have nothing to fear and a combination of the performances against Stevenage and Notts County will give his team a chance.

Speaking to the club website he said: “Darren Ferguson has always produced good Football teams wherever he has been. I know about his teams, they always play good Football so I’m expecting a good match.

“We of course need to respect them but not be afraid of them. We need to be aware of what they are capable of doing but we’ve also got to concentrate on ourselves.

“The last thing we want is anything like Rotherham, I can appreciate and respect supporters being disappointed that we have lost our last two but they were very different games and the latest one against Notts County there was a very good reaction from the players.

“I’m expecting them to do that again.”

Darren Ferguson, son of former Manchester United Manager Sir Alex, told Peterborough’s club website:

“'We said before the game at Newport that it would be a perfect warm-up for Saturday's game at Gillingham. The pitch is a lot better though and we definitely need to keep the ball better than we did in possession on Tuesday evening.

“They have conceded a lot of goals in recent weeks, so I am sure they will be looking to bounce back against ourselves. Charlie Lee has got a long throw and if he is involved I am sure they will utilise that weapon.

“It will be a tricky game for us, but we know that a win would cap off a very good week for us.”

Peterborough – the season so far

The Posh, having unexpectedly been relegated on the final day of last season, began life back in League One in convincing fashion after winning eight of their first 10 fixtures in all competitions.

They went unbeaten during the month of October, but November saw Posh win just one of five games in League One, as a result losing ground on the likes of Wolves and Leyton Orient who currently occupy the top two positions.

However they visit Priestfield having won their last three games, one of which being a 1-0 win at home to Wolves. Their latest triumph was a 3-0 victory over Newport County in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy earlier this week.

They are currently fifth in Sky Bet League One with 35 points (11 wins, two draws and six defeats).

The Gaffer – Darren Ferguson

Ferguson is in his second spell as Peterborough boss and is looking to bounce back to the Championship at the first time of asking following relegation on the final day of last season at Crystal Palace.

In his first spell he led the Posh to back to back promotions – however in November 2009 he and the club parted ways by mutual consent and took the vacant job at Preston two months later.

He wouldn’t see out the year though, being sacked in the December after just 49 games with North End bottom of the Championship.

The Posh came calling for a second time shortly after and Darren once again guided the club to promotion, but in just his second season back in the second tier the club saw them drift in to League One.

His playing days saw him play under his father Sir Alex at Manchester United, before enjoying more lucrative spells at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Wrexham, via a short stint at Sparta Rotterdam.

The Skipper – Tommy Rowe

Rowe, signed by Ferguson in May 2009, has experienced all the highs and lows of the last few years and has been an integral part of the club’s recent successes.

Leading by example he has scored four goals in all competitions so far this season and set up two more. He has missed the last few games due to injury and may struggle to be fit for the trip.

One to Watch – Britt Assombalonga

The striker has been in red hot form so far this season having scored 14 goals in all competitions, including a hat-trick in last week’s 5-0 win over Tranmere in the FA Cup.

The 21-year-old signed from Watford on a four year deal in the summer and comes in to the game having netted six in his last five appearances.

Previous Meetings:

The two clubs haven’t met in a competitive fixture for over 16 years, that game ending in a 1-0 win for Peterborough during a Football League Trophy tie at Priestfield.

David Farrell netted a goal shortly after half time to clinch victory, with the Gills having already sealed a 2-1 victory in the league earlier that year.

Iffy Onoura bagged a brace to help to help clinch maximum points, with David Morrison having scored an equaliser with just ten minutes left to play.

In total the two teams have met on 38 occasions – the head to head statistics favour Peterborough who have 12 wins compared to Gills 10. The other 16 matches have resulted in a draw.

Current Form (last six games in all competitions):

Gills: WLLWLL (six points)
Peterborough: LLLWWW (three points)


The Gills are 11/4 to record victory over Darren Ferguson’s side, with a 1-0 home win delivering odds of 10/1.

Bradley Dack is 14/1 to open the scoring with Charlie Lee at 18/1 to score against his former club.

A 1-1 draw gives a return of 11/2. For other markets, courtesy of Sky Bet, click here.


Referee – Tim Robinson
Assistants - Jake Hillier and Graham Kane
Fourth Official - Dean Treleaven

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