We look ahead to tomorrow's game

npower League Two
Tuesday March 12 2013
St James Park
Kick-off: 7.45pm

In his post-match press conference after the Plymouth game Gills boss Martin Allen said changes would be made for Tuesday’s trip to Exeter, revealing Andy Frampton could be in line for a return.

He said: “There were a lot of good players sitting on the bench. Frampton is now fit, Weston isn’t fit and Allen isn’t fit but Frampton now comes back in to the picture.

“He trained well OK on Friday and hasn’t had any headaches, which is bad news for Nurofen, he is fine and raring to go. You could see what East [Danny] did when he came on, what a player he looks.

Chris Whelpdale, who had to be withdrawn after 67 minutes on Saturday, will be assessed ahead of the trip west on Tuesday.

City boss Paul Tisdale made two changes to his team for Saturday’s fixture at Fleetwood Town, Steve Tully and Jimmy Keohane coming in for John O’Flynn who dropped to the bench while Tommy Doherty missed out with a back problem.

Kevin Amankwaah was withdrawn (looking tired) at half-time in the game at Highbury but midfielder Mark Molesley is available for tomorrow’s game following a three-match suspension.

Following the weekend’s goalless draw at Highbury, Paul Tisdale’s team were lying seventh, the last of the play-off places, in the League Two table having picked up 59 points (17 wins and eight draws) from their 37 games.

In his post-match press conference Tisdale said “You have to be pleased when it’s been a very good, open game and you have to defend very strongly. Both teams would have liked the three points, but we come away knowing we had to work hard to keep the clean sheet – so when we look at it, it’s another point towards where we’re trying to get to.  The group had to work very hard – and the team kept their discipline very well in testing conditions.”

Tis continued “It’s not just us that it suits – it probably suits other clubs as well. I’m sure there are other clubs looking at our result and thinking that it’s not a bad one.  So we both got a point, which could have been worse – but there’s a long way to go.  We have to hold our nerve and accumulate points.

“Every week you’ll get winners and losers – Cheltenham have lost, Rotherham have lost, Port Vale have lost.  But then you’ve got winners in Southend who are coming back into it, and Burton again won and Gillingham.  It’s going to keep going – we just have to accept that we have to pick up points and win more than we lose.”

The Grecians have won six and drawn five of their 18 previous home games with Bristol Rovers (2-1), Chesterfield (1-0), Morecambe (3-0), Oxford United (3-1), Port Vale (2-0), Rotherham United (1-0) and Torquay United (1-0) all coming away from St James Park with all three points.

Chris Whelpdale’s goal in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Plymouth saw him move level with fellow attacking winger Myles Weston on seven goals.

They both trail top two Danny Kedwell (12) and Deon Burton (11) while fellow striker Antonio German, who opened the scoring against the Pilgrims, became the 20th different player to score for the Gills this season.

Veteran striker Jamie Cureton leads the Grecians goalscoring chart with 20 goals to his name so far this season while fellow forward John O’Flynn has scored 11 times.

Defender Scott Bennett has netted five times, Alan Gow (four) while Daniel Coles, Aaron Davies and Jimmy Keohane all have found the net three times apiece.

In their last five League Two outings the Gills have taken 10 points (three wins and a draw) while opponents Exeter have picked up seven.

Back in November two cracking goals from Chris Whelpdale and Danny Jackman weren’t enough as the Grecians won by the odd-goal in five on a wet and windy evening at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

Jamie Cureton’s second goal of the game, with just three minutes remaining on the clock, won it for the visitors and robbed the Gills of a deserved point.

Just four minutes in it was Gillingham that went in front, a superb defence-splitting pass from Lewis Montrose sent Whelpdale through to poke the ball beyond the advancing Artur Krysiak.

Alan Gow curled home a free-kick for the equaliser on 27 minutes and Cureton struck his first of the night from close range to put Exeter ahead nine minutes after the break.

Jackman then levelled matters with 11 minutes remaining, the ball ran nicely for the left-back following a challenge and he thumped home a cracking effort from around 25-yards.

With the Gills going in search of a winner they were made to pay by some clinical counter-attacking.

Initially they had a major let-off when Stuart Nelson kept out a Cureton spot-kick on 86 minutes but almost immediately the veteran striker was in the right place to nod home the winner from a Liam Sercombe cross.

Gills – Nelson, Fish, Jackman, Barrett, Davies, Whelpdale, Montrose (Vincelot 60), Lee (Weston H/T), Allen, Strevens (Kedwell 70), Burton  Unused subs: Essam, Frampton, Birchall, Forecast

City – Krysiak, Tully, Woodman, Bennett, Baldwin, Coles, Sercombe, Oakley, Gow, Cureton (Chamberlain (90+2), Doherty (Keohane 85)  Unused subs: Amankwaah, Nichols, Dawson, Evans, Moore-Taylor

Overall there have been 101 previous meetings between the two sides in all competitions, dating back to a 2-1 defeat at St James Park in October 1920, the Gills having won 34 and drawn 29 of these.

The last meeting at St James Park was in December 2009 and ended in a 1-1 draw,

Referee: Keith Hill
Assistants: Andrew Laver & Paul Rees
Fourth Official:  Lee Swabey

The Hertfordshire official, who returned to action in February after 18 minutes out of the game, has refereed five games this season, issuing one red and five yellow cards.

His previous game involving the Gills was the 4-2 victory at Macclesfield Town in December 2010 when Chris Whelpdale, Josh Gowling, Cody McDonald and Adebayo Akinfenwa were the scorers.