We look ahead to the weekend's League Two encounter

npower League Two
Saturday February 16 2013
MEMS Priestfield Stadium
Kick-off: 3.00pm

In his press conference this morning, which can be viewed on Gills Player, Martin Allen stated that Danny Kedwell would be missing with his hamstring injury for around three weeks while Charlie Allen (wrist) is due to be assessed by a specialist this afternoon.

He also said, without mentioning any names that one player was ill and a couple of others had minor knocks.

However Martin is boosted by the fact that both Michael Richardson and Ryan Williams, who have signed on loan from Newcastle and Fulham respectively, have both joined in time to make the match day squad if needed.

Dagenham boss John Still looks to have a fully-fit squad to select from with no injury or suspension worries.

After the half-dozen midweek matches in League Two the Daggers were lying 14th in the table having picked up 41 points (11 wins and eight draws) from their 32 games.

Last weekend saw John Still’s side record a 1-0 victory over promotion-chasing Cheltenham Town at the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Stadium which was one of three wins in their last ten League Two outings, they have also drawn one.

Since that game the Dagenham manager spoke to the club’s website, saying “It was a great result on Saturday, everybody played well and I was pleased with our performance. The boys have worked really hard in the last couple of games, I think we added quality to the performance on Saturday.

“We was up against a good side in Cheltenham and we limited them to minimum chances. We can take a lot of positives from Saturday as we prepare for Gillingham this weekend.”

On their travels this season the have won four, drawn four and lost eight. The wins have come at Accrington Stanley (2-0), Bristol Rovers (1-0), Chesterfield (2-1) and Oxford United (3-2) while single points were earned at AFC Wimbledon, Plymouth, Port Vale and Rochdale. 

Deon Burton registered his first goal for the club in the game at Dagenham back in August and the experienced striker has since gone on to take his tally to ten goals which currently puts him two behind Danny Kedwell.

Midfielder Luke Howell’s second-half winner against the Robins last Saturday took his season’s tally to eight goals and he is now jointly top of the Daggers goalscoring list along with former Aston Villa striker Sam Williams on eight goals.

Behind these two come defender Luke Wilkinson with five and then midfield duo Medy Elito and Matthew Saunders who have both netted three apiece.

Deon Burton and Myles Weston were the scorers in East London back in August as the Gills continued their winning start in League Two.

In horrendous conditions, there was thunder, lightning and torrential rain for much of the 90-odd minutes, the two sides put up a decent battle on the pitch with the Gills edging it.

The opening goal of the game came on the half-hour, Matt Fish curled in a great cross from the right and Burton forced himself between two defenders to plant a low header beyond Chris Lewington from around eight yards.

Just four minutes later Dwight Gayle went down under Stuart Nelson’s challenge and referee Rob Lewis pointed immediately to the spot. The Daggers forward picked himself up to slot home the resultant penalty.

What turned out to be the winner came in the 63rd minute when a Fish clearance sent Weston away and after going past a defender he drilled a shot through the legs of the advancing keeper to send the 988 travelling fans into ecstasy.

After the game Martin Allen said "It's always hard coming here and the conditions made it tough. We weathered the storm, fought back well from the equaliser, and did a fantastic job.”

The two sides on August 25 were -

Daggers - Lewington, Ilesanmi, Doe, Spillane, Williams, Elito, Howell (DJ Green 68), Hoyte, Ogogo, Gayle (Scott 82), Bingham  Unused subs: Seabright, Wilkinson, D Green, Reed, Woodall

Gills – Nelson, Fish, Martin, Whelpdale (Payne 62), Lee, Frampton, Allen (Strevens 71), Davies, Montrose, Burton (Kedwell 62), Weston   Unused subs: Forecast, Essam, Jackman, Dack

There have been eight previous meetings between the two sides if you include two home FA Cup First Round ties against the original Dagenham outfit back in the early Eighties.

The first of these saw Ken Price and Andy Ford net in a 2-1 win in November 1980 while two years later it was Tony Cascarino that struck the only goal.

Then on November 13 2007 goals from Craig Armstrong, Aaron Brown, Chris Dickson (penalty) and Dennis Oli saw the Gills record a 4-0 Johnstone Paints Trophy win.

The teams at Priestfield that evening were as follows -

Gillingham: Stillie, Clohessy, Cox, King, Armstrong, Stone, Howard, Brown, Cogan, Hamilton, Dickson. Unused subs: Oli, Sodje, Freeman, Bentley, Kiely

Dagenham: Roberts, Boardman, Huke, Southam, Rainford,  Griffiths, Benson, Uddin, Strevens, Moore, Taiwo. Unused subs: Sloma, Nurse, Taylor, Green, Thompson.

There have only been five previous league games since the East London club won promotion into the Football League at the end of the 2006-07 campaign.

It was on Boxing Day in 2008 that the clubs first encountered each other in a league game and that day saw Ben Strevens and Paul Benson netted in a 2-0 home victory for the Daggers.

Later that season Oli struck an 88th minute winner for Mark Stimson’s team after Mark McCammon and Sam Saunders had swapped earlier goals.

Then before the away game earlier this season (see above), Dagenham did the ‘double’ over the Gills in 2011-12 twice recording 2-1 wins.

Referee: Iain Williamson
Assistants: Carl Fitch & Marc Wilson
Fourth Official: John Magill

The Berkshire official, who has issued 69 yellow and two red cards in his 20 matches this season, previously refereed the Gills goalless draw at Oxford back in October.