We look ahead to Tuesday night's fixture at Priestfield
GILLINGHAM v OXFORD UNITED
npower League Two
Tuesday February 26 2013
MEMS Priestfield Stadium
Martin Allen was hopeful following the win at Chesterfield that Andy Frampton (concussion) and Charlie Allen (broken hand) would both be available for selection, however it remains to be seen if they are fit enough to make the squad.
Danny Kedwell (hamstring) could return but Matt Fish (ankle) may have to sit out which could see Chris Whelpdale slotting in at right back, as he did when Fish was substituted on Saturday.
Cody McDonald has been recalled by parent club Coventry City and so Adam Birchall may start in attack alongside Myles Weston or Deon Burton.
As for Oxford, Alfie Potter returned to action on Saturday with an appearance from the subs bench, but Tony Capaldi failed to make the squad and may be waiting to regain full fitness ahead of the trip to Priestfield.
On loan Burton striker Justin Richards will miss the remainder of the season having suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury against Bristol Rovers earlier in the month, and has joined goalkeeper Ryan Clarke and midfielder Peter Leven as long-term absentees.
Meanwhile striker Jon-Paul Pittman is closing in on a return to training.
THE SEASON SO FAR…
Previously on their travels this season Chris Wilder’s side have won six, at AFC Wimbledon (3-0), Bradford (2-1), Bristol R (2-0), Exeter (3-1), Plymouth (1-0) and Wycombe (3-1) and drawn two, at Barnet and Morecambe, of their 17 fixtures.
United’s best win of the campaign saw them hit five unanswered goals past Accrington Stanley, and on that day, back in October, Tom Craddock struck four times with Alfie Potter adding the other.
in the League Two table having picked up 43 points (12 wins, seven draws and 14 defeats) from their 33 games so far this season. thFollowing Saturday’s home game against York City the U’s were lying 13
As for their progress in cup competitions Oxford were eliminated in the second round of the Capital One Cup following a 3-0 defeat to Leeds United at the Kassam after overcoming Bournemouth at the opening stage via a penalty shoot-out.
In the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Oxford came agonisingly close to booking a place in the Area Finals, but after a 3-3 draw at home to Southend they eventually lost out on penalties.
In the FA Cup it was a third round exit for Chris Wilder’s side after a 3-0 home defeat to Sheffield United after beating Barnet and Accrington Stanley (via a replay).
Gills leading scorer remains Danny Kedwell who has netted 12 times this season with Deon Burton hot on his heels with 11.
Tom Craddock, the former Middlesbrough and Luton Town forward, currently leads the U’s goal scoring chart with a dozen goals to his name in all competitions, this puts him one ahead of strike partner James Constable.
Myles Weston is four further back with seven goals and fellow midfielder Chris Whelpdale is on six.
In the last five games the two teams have accumulated the following results and points.
Gills:LWDWW (10 points)
LLLWD (4 points)
EARLIER THIS SEASON…
Back in October the Gills finally saw their 100% away record ended, although they did remain unbeaten, after earning a point from a goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium. It was the hosts that had more of the ball after the break but Stuart Nelson was only tested on one occasion when keeping out an Alfie Potter effort.
The visitors had the best chances and could have won the game with Danny Kedwell, Adam Barrett and Deon Burton all being denied by a superb performance from Ryan Clarke in the Oxford goal – Martin Allen saying in his post match press conference he thought it was Joe Hart between the sticks.
Oxford: Nelson, Fish, Barrett, Flanagan, Martin, Whelpdale, Wright (Montrose 54), Payne, Weston (Findley 58), Kedwell, Burton (Frampton 70). Unused subs: Forecast, Davies, Dack, Strevens.Gills
: Clarke, Batt (Boateng 43), Wright, Chapman, Heslop, Smalley (Craddock 45), Rigg, Potter, Forster-Caskey, O’Brien, Mullins. Unused subs: Crocombe, Constable, Capaldi, Leven, Worley.
There have been 40 games between the two sides in all competitions, including two when the U’s were in their former guise of Headington United back in the 1949-50 season, with the Gills holding the upper hand having won 20 and drawn 13 of these.
Last season the Gills won 1-0 at Priestfield thanks to a Lewis Montrose strike, the return game produced a 0-0 draw at the Kassam.…OFFICIALS
Referee: Fred Graham
Assistants: Christopher O'Donnell and Thomas Ramsey
Fourth Official: Adrian Sannerude