We look ahead to Saturday's League Two encounterGILLINGHAM v ACCRINGTON STANLEY
npower League Two
Saturday March 23 2013
MEMS Priestfield Stadium
In this afternoon’s press conference Gillingham manager Martin Allen stated that Bradley Dack, Charlie Lee, Myles Weston and Chris Whelpdale would all undergo fitness tests ahead of the game on Saturday.
Michael Richardson has returned to parent club Newcastle United following his loan spell and Andy Frampton misses out through suspension following his red card at Rochdale.
Josh Hare plus Jake Hessenthaler and Devante McKain, who have been re-called from respective loan spells at Tamworth and Maidenhead United, will be involved in the first-team squad as potential cover.
Defender Mark Hughes has returned to parent club Bury following a loan spell having been ruled out for the season with a calf problem while experienced right-back Nicky Hunt limped off in the 26th minute of last weekend’s home victory over Barnet with a tight hamstring and missed the AFC Wimbledon game.
The trip to Priestfield may come too soon for forward Padraig Amond who is continuing his recovery from an abductor problem.
MARTIN ALLEN ON THE ACCRINGTON GAME…
Talking pitch-side after Tuesday’s game at Spotland Gills boss Martin Allen looked ahead to the Accrington game, saying “They are fighting for their life and we are fighting for something else, they are all tough games there is no doubt about it.
“The players or supporters don’t need to hear about it from me and with people fighting for their lives to survive in the football league it makes it even tougher.”
THE SEASON SO FAR…
Following Tuesday’s 4-0 home win over AFC Wimbledon, Stanley were lying 22nd in the League Two table, two points clear of the relegation places, having picked up 43 points (11 wins and 10 draws) from their 39 games.
In the midweek fixture Francis Jeffers opened his goal account for the club with the first two while Will Hatfield and in-form winger Lee Molyneux added the others.
Previously on their travels the Reds have won five and drawn four of their 19 games. Those away wins came at AFC Wimbledon (2-1), Cheltenham (3-0), Fleetwood (3-1), Rochdale (3-0) and Southend (1-0) while further points were picked up at Barnet, Dagenham & Redbridge, Morecambe and Plymouth.
Danny Kedwell found the net at Spotland on Tuesday, his first goal since the home defeat to Port Vale in January, which took the leading scorers tally to 13 goals for the season.
He is followed by fellow striker Deon Burton (11) and then attacking duo Myles Weston and Chris Whelpdale who are both on seven.
Romuald Bocu, who misses the game at Priestfield as he is away captaining the Benin international side, is Stanley’s top scorer with 10 goals. Molyneux’s goal against the Dons took his total for the season to seven, the same as fellow striker Padraig Amond.
James Beattie comes next with six goals and he is followed by Will Hatfield who has netted five times.
EARLIER THIS SEASON…
Despite losing keeper Stuart Nelson, who was dismissed with 22 minutes remaining, Martin Allen’s side held on to take a battling point from the game at a wet and windy Crown Ground back in November.
The keeper was sent-off for a professional foul on Padraig Amond which former England striker James Beattie, who was making his home debut for Accrington, converted past substitute keeper Tommy Forecast.
The spot-kick levelled matters after the Gills had gone in front with 42 minutes on the clock. Charlie Lee’s short throw found Danny Jackman and the latter crossed to Myles Weston on the edge of the area.
The winger, surrounded by a number of home players, created enough space to drill home a low shot into the corner of the net much to the delight of the 267 bedraggled travelling supporters on the open terrace.
Accrington: Dunbavin, Winnard, Liddle, Atkinson, Nsiala, Miller, Joyce, Lindifeld, Molyneaux (Amond 67), Boco, Beattie. Unusued subs: Dawber, Murphy, Schofield, Dixon, Gray, Hatfield.
Gills: Nelson, Fish, Barrett, Davies, Jackman, Montrose, Vincelot, Whelpdale (Allen 78), Lee (Forecast 68), Weston, Burton (Frampton 90). Unusued subs: Essam, Dack, Strevens, Birchall.
Overall there have been 11 games against Accrington Stanley but when you look through the record books one is missing. The 5-1 home win in December 1961 was expunged after the Lancashire club resigned from the Football League three months later.
Of the remaining ten games, in all competitions, both sides have won four while there has also been two draws.
Referee – Brendan Malone
Assistant Referee’s – David Avent & Mark Howes
Fourth Official – Adam Crysell
The Wiltshire official has been in charge of 19 games previously this season, issuing three red and 54 yellow cards.
This will be his third Gillingham game of 2012-13 but his first here at Priestfield, the other two being the visits to Bristol Rovers and Torquay United.