We look ahead to tomorrow's fixtureBRISTOL ROVERS v GILLINGHAM
npower League Two
Saturday January 5 2013
TEAM NEWS -
New Gillingham midfielder Steven Gregory is expected to be included in the squad for the first time on Saturday. There are no other injury or suspension worries for the Gills.
Rovers saw defender Cian Bolger and midfielder Matthew Lund go back to parent clubs Leicester City and Stoke City respectively following the New Year’s Day fixtures although there are hopes that both could return. New signing, Irish defender Mark McChrystal, could feature.
THE SEASON SO FAR -
Rovers ended a two-month wait for a win with their 2-1 New Year’s Day triumph over Plymouth Argyle, their previous victory having been against Chesterfield in early November.
Following that game new manager John Ward, who replaced Mark McGhee in December, said "It is a step in the right direction. It's a big thing for the team to get a win after so long.
"It is three more points on the board and will give the boys a bit of confidence before we take on the league leaders (Gillingham) here on Saturday.
"It's another massive challenge for us, and we'll try to give them a game as well."
The three points left the Pirates lying 23rd in the League Two table having gained 22 points (five wins and seven draws) from their 24 fixtures.
LEADING GOALSCORERS -
Chris Whelpdale’s winner at Southend took his season’s tally to five and he is fourth in the Gills goalscoring stakes behind Danny Kedwell (11), Deon Burton (9) and Myles Weston (6).
Both David Clarkson and former Bolton Wanderers loanee Tom Eaves currently lead the Pirates scoring chart with seven goals apiece. Behind them are Joe Anyinsah, Fabian Broghammer, Matthew Lund and Eliot Richards who have all netted twice.
NEW FACES -
Ward brought in three new arrivals ahead of the Plymouth game, Millwall goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall, midfielder John-Joe O’Toole from Colchester United and QPR striker Tom Hitchcock – all on loan.
Since then he has added Tranmere Rovers defender Mark McChrystal on a six-month deal while also looking at former Aldershot striker Guy Madjo in training.
EARLIER THIS SEASON -
The Gills registered a convincing 4-0 victory when the two sides met at MEMS Priestfield Stadium back in September.
Rovers, then under Mark McGhee, were taken apart by the Gills, who included new signing David Wright, thanks to goals from Danny Kedwell (2), Charlie Lee and substitute Chris Whelpdale.
It was Kedwell that gave the Gills a fifth minute lead when thumping home a penalty past Sam Walker after the Gills striker had been fouled by Tom Parkes.
Ten minutes later it was 2-0 as Lee’s long throw was flicked on by Kedwell and Adam Virgo could only help into his own net.
The third goal came just before the break, Joe Martin’s long range strike was deflected over but from Charlie Allen’s resultant right-wing corner, Lee threw himself forward to net with a diving header from around six yards out.
Rovers 209 travelling fans didn’t have a lot to cheer about but Wayne Brown did test Stuart Nelson with a low shot, Virgo headed across the face of goal and Matt Fish blocked a Fabian Broghammer effort.
Martin Allen’s side continued to create openings almost at will but the final goal didn’t arrive until the 82nd minute when Whelpdale stooped to head home a perfect cross from Myles Weston.
Gills – Nelson, Fish, Martin, Payne, Lee, Kedwell (Strevens 58), Allen, Davies, Burton (Weston H/T), Barrett, Wright (Whelpdale 71) Unused subs: Flanagan, Frampton, Montrose, Forecast
Rovers – Walker, Smith, Paterson (Norburn H/T), Parkes, Clarkson, Gill (Lund 66), Harrold (Broghammer 34), Richards, L.Brown, Virgo, W.Brown Unused subs: Anyinsah, Gough, Clarke, Clucas
Referee – Brendan Malone
Assistants – Steven Plane & Christopher Powell
Fourth Official – Andrew Turner
This will be Brendan’s second Gillingham game of the season having previously taken charge of the 2-1 defeat at Torquay back in October.
He has officiated in 15 games in total this season in which he has issued 43 yellow and three red cards.